Sunday, 30-Nov-03 23:36
Horsin' around

Glxblt. Can hardly think straight anymore, and I have to actively try and focus my eyes to the screen, or else I can't make out the characters. I've had the most wonderful weekend, during which I have done things I don't want to even talk about, things that I would like to sing about, things that have made me glad, and things that have made me sad. I have found new things, rediscovered some old things, forgotten about some others, been reminded of some things, and reminded others of some others.

Just a few highlights:

  • Saturday morning breakfast
  • The discovery that yeah, blue can go with red if they are both striking enough and everybody else is wearing a tuxedo =)
  • You can't mix Black Cat with 4 other alcohol drinks and expect it to be good
  • Riding is good fun, but you need to have narrower boots than hiking boots, and tie down your trouser legs somehow
  • You can squeeze four games of Amplitude in the 20 minutes before the bus leaves, if you eat a lighter breakfast =)
  • DVD players are really cheap these days
  • Taxi trip from the west side of Vantaa to the east side costs 30€ (ouch)
    • Corollary, you can actually get a taxi by chasing one down, like a dog.
  • Avoiding branches can sometimes be difficult on horseback
  • Note to self: don't get daughters, only sons. Much, much cheaper.
  • The Two Towers, extended edition is a far better movie than the movie version; the pace is calmer.
  • Ground loops can occur within home environment, too.
  • My sight has not grown any worse during the past 8 years. Yay!
Sunday, 30-Nov-03 00:30
Left, right, right, right, left, right, right, right

Despite of all of the cool and wonderful things that happened today, and all of the cool and wonderful people whom I met today, whenever I close my eyes I see blue octagons containing notes flowing towards me, ready to be shot.

I was introduced yesterday evening to Frequency, so I promptly went out today and bought the sequel: Amplitude. I seem to be unable to stop playing it.

This is so sad. /me shakes head, just before plunging into another tunnel to hunt for that pesky bass track.

Friday, 28-Nov-03 15:52
Portality

Hum. Someone emailed me with about me being a portal, and jokingly commented that I should have a "make ~ButtUgly my home page" button.

Got me thinking.

How many people actually *do* use prominent weblogs for their "portal" pages? I could imagine that content-heavy and fast updating sites like boingboing, or scripting.com might make pretty good portal sites if they allowed for a bit more user configurability (like add my favourite links and so on).

Hm. A new job for a WikiWeblog?

Friday, 28-Nov-03 13:45
Got me pussycat

Yeah, my Panther arrived finally, after two unsuccessful attempts. It took me two tries to convince Apple that "yes, I actually would really, really like to have the International English version of the OSX", as they kept being very helpful and trying to send me the Finnish version.

Not that I really mind, the Apple support people have been very helpful and responsive all through this trial; they just seem to think that it is unfathomable that anyone in their right mind would like to use Mac OSX in some other language than their own. I know Mac users are in general considered to be drooling non-techie morons, who need hand-holding and pats on the back all the time so that they don't panic at the sight of a surprising dialog box, but still... :-)

BTW, I love Expose. It's not yet a replacement for proper virtual desktops, but it does make working on a single desktop a lot more productive and pleasant. Also, the fact that there's now proper app switching with Apple-Tab instead of the Dock thingy is really a boon for a hardcore keyboard user such as myself. So far it has easily been worth the 30€ I paid for it.

Oh yeah, and I still can't connect to my home Samba server. In 10.2, I just got a strange error number; Panther just gives me a "the original item cannot be found" message. WTF?

Thursday, 27-Nov-03 23:42
DD

Watched Dungeons & Dragons today for the third time. It is still a pile of bats droppings.

Well, at least I wasn't alone.

Thursday, 27-Nov-03 09:47
What is your digital IQ?

My Digital IQ is 210. They have some dumb questions: I don't use no stinking portals, I *am* a portal. And I don't use eight-character alphanumeric passwords, I use passwords that look like line noise and are impossible to type without two hands, and I have not installed the Google toolbar because I do not use IE. If I interpret the questions loosely, I score 220. Nyah.

Via Visa Kopu.

Thursday, 27-Nov-03 09:35
Ben Franklin must be rolling in his grave at 12,000 rpm

From Wired Magazine: Congress Expands FBI Spying Power

Under the Patriot Act, the FBI can acquire bank records and Internet or phone logs simply by issuing itself a so-called national security letter saying the records are relevant to an investigation into terrorism. The FBI doesn't need to show probable cause or consult a judge. What's more, the target institution is issued a gag order and kept from revealing the subpoena's existence to anyone, including the subject of the investigation.

Hel-llloo? Anyone intelligent still in home in US? Do you really, really trust your authorities enough to allow them to essentially a free reign without any publically reviewable control whatsoever? Sheesh, and then people are worried about some compulsory ID number...

I don't know about you, but the US Department of Justice website on why Patriot Act really is a good thing does not exactly comfort me either.

Wednesday, 26-Nov-03 17:01
Wiki stuff and integration

SnipSnap people ask:

Someone could write a Blojsom or JSPWiki ~FileStorage.

Wouldn't it be far more interesting to have a WebDAV storage system for Wikis?

(I was BTW also looking at the possibility to make JSPWiki Radeox-compatible. Shouldn't be too hard, actually. You just need one adapter class and that's it.)

Wednesday, 26-Nov-03 12:14
"Would you terribly mind if you bent your knees a bit and groveled, please? Thank you so much, dear."

What kind of porno would you star in?

Bondage movie! You're into BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Submission & Dominance) and chances are, you're fond of whips, chains, harnesses, and tight leather outfits. You like to mix a little pain with a LOT of pleasure, baby!

Oh, okay then. No worries. What a good coincidence, I was just wondering if and how I should revise the contents of my garderobe. Luckily the internet is full of these tests that will help you to figure out what and who you really are.

How wonderful.

"Now, my dear, could you please extend your tongue towards my shoe? No? That is quite all right, darling. Perhaps I might interest you in some tea and bisquits?"

Tuesday, 25-Nov-03 19:37
Death at 27, kitchen psychology at 11

Masaaki Hatsumi, the head of the Bujinkan tradition says that he died at the age of 27.

Sounds strange, doesn't it? It sounds like something who actually is the head of a long tradition of budo masters might say, in the spirit of the best martial arts movies.

It suddenly dawned on me that I did kinda the same thing at 27, quitting practicing the aforementioned tradition almost overnight. I started to think about it, as a 26-year old friend mentioned that lately, she has started to think that what she used to think she wants are no longer the things that she really thinks that she wants, and she no longer knows what she thinks, or wants. Err. Something like that anyway. But it did strike a chord somewhere in my jaded guts.

Perhaps 27 really is the age where the idealism of the youth dies; the strong opinions, feelings, and habits picked up during your teenage years no longer carry you beyond that point, and the real world hits you. Usually, at the same age, people (academic people anyway) also leave study life and they have to actually, completely to start to take care of themselves. There are no more safety nets, no more teachers and guides, nobody to tell you what to do with your life. So you reinvent yourself.

Or perhaps it is all just a part of a larger conspiracy.

Tuesday, 25-Nov-03 00:12
Cruelty, intolerable

In a desperate attempt to use all of my discount movie tickets I went to see Intolerable Cruelty, which certainly had its moments.

It seems that I do have a weak spot for romantic comedies. Though, I should probably stop inviting my male friends with me, as they don't always react too well :-).

Oh yeah... Random moment of the day: You know you have been living in one place too long when... the local hobos start to greet you.

Sunday, 23-Nov-03 18:39
Sweety

Went to see Whale Rider. It was not as good as I had been told (and frankly, unless you have a habit of stuffing parsley in your ears regularly during movies, you should be able to guess the plot within ten minutes), but the execution is still rather flawless, and it actually manages to be sentimental and touching without being surypy.

And I finally learned how to make passable gyu-don today! Woo-hoo! My menu for the next week is set!

Saturday, 22-Nov-03 10:54
Surprising day, and it's not even noon

I surprised myself today by colouring my hair. I guess there are worse ways of spending an early Saturday morning than having a woman paint and massage your head; in fact, the experience was rather relaxing.

I was also somewhat - but only somewhat - surprised to find that I am the #1 hit for "masturbation among teenage girls" on MSN Search. While the idea in itself is very commendable, I am afraid I know about the subject about as much as a singing hippopotamus understands about space travel. I would not trust MSN Search as far as I can throw it.

Saturday, 22-Nov-03 01:27
Back to speed

It has been a while since my last scientific experiment, and I am the first to admit that the only reason has been my own laziness. People have started to give me some nice ideas, some of which I might actually implement some day. Especially the one involving whipped cream and naked bodies was rather interesting.

However, in order to help others to have their own social lives, I decided to show just how one can liven up ones life without having to resort to duct tape, just by using ordinary household items - i.e. dirty laundry. The result is not very scientific, though.

Ecyrd Heavy Industries presents: Things you can do with your laundry but probably should not.

Friday, 21-Nov-03 18:38
Holy Schmoly
With Synergy, all the computers on your desktop form a single virtual screen. You use the mouse and keyboard of only one of the computers while you use all of the monitors on all of the computers. You tell synergy how many screens you have and their positions relative to one another. Synergy then detects when the mouse moves off the edge of a screen and jumps it instantly to the neighboring screen. The keyboard works normally on each screen; input goes to whichever screen has the cursor.

Brilliant! Exactly what I have been lusting after.

(Via #joiito.)

Friday, 21-Nov-03 15:37
"What about her poor neglected left nipple?"

Wouldn't you like to have your own Ebichu, the friendly cleaning hamster?

(Now, where did I put my BitTorrent client? This one looks like a must-see :-)

Update: Of course, the Bitter Orange Snail looks rather interesting as well. Via Lorem Ipsum.

Friday, 21-Nov-03 14:30
Wikitized pr0n

We had our first porn ad on jspwiki.org today. I feel like a proud dad; my child has finally reached maturity and general acceptance.

(And yes, I do need to get out more often. Thank you for asking.)

Wednesday, 19-Nov-03 23:44
Pissedy

OK, I would now like to state for the record that I do NOT like the following things:

  • stupid games that you play in a group so that you would feel better about being just a dumb part of a group (you know: "hey, let's all pretend to be submarines and do weird stuff.")
  • accordion music
  • waking up very early so that one gets to listen to two hours of interesting presentations and six hours of not-so-interesting presentations ("look, we can make this phone ring." "Whoa.")
  • being so bloody tired during all of this
  • not having GPRS connectivity
  • emotional rollercoasters
  • not being able to read one's mails (I suddenly started receiving many emails that I actually have or want to respond to.)

Glxblt. I'll just crash now, thankyouverymuch.

Wednesday, 19-Nov-03 12:38
Generousy

Ah, university food. I used to be much skinnier when I was working for the academic world.

Monday, 17-Nov-03 16:32
Annoyancy

OK, so I'm in this meeting, and I am looking at a slideshow, and suddenly I get these wonderful ideas, no, THREE wonderful ideas. But I don't want to interrupt the conversation, so I decide to quickly jot them down and comment on them later.

So I start whacking the FN key of my Windows laptop.

And I wait for it to wake up.

And then I hit Ctrl-Alt-Del to log in.

And then I wait. Everybody else continues the conversation, of which I am missing most.

And then I type in my password.

And then I wait. "Chatter chatter", go the others.

And then I get a desktop, and I start Word by hunting a rediculously small icon from my toolbar.

And then I wait. The conversation has already shifted focus twice during this, and I have completely lost track.

And when I finally get an empty document, I stare at it.

And I have no idea whatsoever what my ideas were anymore, because it takes over 30 bloody seconds for the bloody computer to bloody wake up and give me bloody Word.

I guess my ideas weren't that wonderful after all.

(Seriously, a computer should be "instant-on". My Mac wakes up in about two seconds, which is about the absolute maximum I am willing to tolerate. Most PDAs are faster, even.)

Monday, 17-Nov-03 12:58
Creepy

Wanna send an email after your death? My Last Email is here to serve you.

I have to say that this service fascinates my eclectic sense of humour. I have sort of been planning to build a "if you don't log in at least once a month, I will assume you are dead and fire off a bunch of emails" -kinda system myself, but it does have some obvious drawbacks (like forgetting about its existence, and being woken up at 3 am by a bunch of people who have been scared shitless by a cron job).

(Via Roland.)

Saturday, 15-Nov-03 14:16
Switchy

OK, so I've been a Mac user for about three weeks now, and here are some more opinions and impressions; mostly collected on my trips.

  • What felt light and small back home, looks so big and clunky in Japan =).
  • I just hate the stupid idea of putting an enter key exactly where the right alt key should be. How can I remap it?
  • Why the hell is the "back" key different in each application? In some, it's Apple+up; in some it's Apple+left, and in Help it's Apple+[. The button looks the same. Why does the shortcut have to be different?
  • Apparently, burning a CD-RW on a shaking Shinkansen train, on battery power while starting and stopping applications is a breeze to OSX. Way :-).
  • Why does Apple say "Suitable for Powerbook G4" when it in fact isn't? I bought a mini-DVI to Composite adapter, and it turns out it only fits the earlier model of Powerbook G4; not my newer model.
  • It really is very easy to accidentally tap the touchpad while typing, especially with the way I use the keyboard.
  • Burned CD-RWs are in HFS+. This is not too good if you want to share your iPhoto albums with others...
  • The battery performance and measurements is really good and accurate. I find it that the 4.5 hours that Apple promises is with display set to minimum brightness, no apps running and Bluetooth and WLAN both off. But hey, I still get easily three hours while doing actually something useful the whole time.
  • There are still some stability issues: this machine has crashed on me three times now; every time while waking from sleep and attempting to do something.
  • I would really, really, really like to have the backlit keyboard on the 12" model.
  • The Apple phone service is really up to date, friendly, fast, and generally a joy to deal with. However, never before have I had the need to talk to any customer service about my computer before =).
Friday, 14-Nov-03 15:28
Googly

Cool. Not only I am the #1 Janne on Google (or #2, depending on the sun spots, it seems), I also seem to be the #1 hit for "dumb tests", not to mention "butt-ugly". Hooray. Welcome all googlers, and especially the one who hoped to find "naked pictures of RuPaul". WTF?

My main ambition in life is to become #1 for gxblt, though.

Update: well, that was fast :-). So, can I be #1 for glxblt as well?

Friday, 14-Nov-03 15:05
...and to say nothing of the dog

(Skipping the y-theme for now; I am disappointed that nobody pointed it out.)

Went yesterday (finally) to see Lars von Trier's Dogville. I had heard rave reviews from friends whose taste I usually trust, so I tried to empty my mind of any expectations as I entered the darkened theatre...

For the first fifteen-twenty minutes I did have trouble with the fact that there were no sets, just a big garage with the layout of the city drawn on the floor. I always figured it was a gimmick, something new that Trier is trying, as he usually is. About half-way to the movie I realized that the removal of all sets was an integral part of the movie; and it would not work as well otherwise. The simple lack of everything extraneous, and having only things that are really needed forces the viewer to concentrate on the actors and the story - a terrible burden I am sure. As Mikki pointed out, this is the antithesis of Matrix - all character, no frame.

But they all perform so superbly that it is hard to describe. At one point I was laughing my ass off, the next minute I was ready leap to the screen and start killing people. I ended up with my jaw on the floor, repeating softly "they can't do that, no way can they do that", refusing to believe my eyes and ears. That does not happen often.

Dogville could have gone horribly wrong in so many ways. It didn't. Give this movie a chance, it deserves it.

Thursday, 13-Nov-03 18:17
Part-Y!

Joi Ito wants to throw a world-wide New Year's Party. Any geeks in Finland wanna join in?

I'll be in London for the New Year's in another kind of party, but I'll try to join in if possible.

BTW, any JSPWiki users in London? I'll be there from Dec 27th to Jan 4th, and I would love to see some of the better whisky bars :-).

Thursday, 13-Nov-03 18:01
Presenty

Tom Coates lets us know that Secret Santa 2003 has started!

The idea is simple: you make yourself an Amazon wishlist, submit the URL to the Secret Santa site, and on the 10th of December you'll get someone else's wishlist - pick something and send it to them! Everybody gets a present! And since it's a global thing, you could get gifts from anywhere =).

Sounds cool; sign me up! However, what I really want is a sample of the local food; every country has their own weirdosities, and I like tasting those. Hum. Let's see if I can add a specific wish...

Thursday, 13-Nov-03 16:17
Gloomy

Ah, found this wonderful site that explains what Gloomy bear is.

Gloomy. The name itself is already wonderful: perky, yet filled with doom; cute, but strange, and it fills completely the Japanese fascination with the letter "y".

Gloomy rocks. I want more Gloomy.

Wednesday, 12-Nov-03 16:56
Socialy

what kind of social software are you?
YOU ARE USENET

You remember when alt.lemur.frink.frink.frink and alt.2eggs.sausage.beans.tomatoes.2toast.largetea.cheerslove was distributed on reel-to-reel tape strapped to a carrier pigeon.

Err...

So what if I do? But I do sometimes feel like a vast number of voices flaming each other in my head, interleaved with large binary pictures of people's sexual organs at close contact, trolls fishing for attention, endless emacs-vs-vi-vs-pc-vs-mac-vs-amiga-vs-swedish chef-vs-tolkien -debates, and gigantic piles and piles of spam. So yeah, perhaps this test is more accurate than most :-).

(Via Matt Jones).

Wednesday, 12-Nov-03 14:51
Trippy

Created a specific page for Trip to Japan 2003 for easy access. I have no doubt in mind that nobody else than me is interested in it; but at least it'll be now archived properly by Google and others.

Wednesday, 12-Nov-03 12:13
Ignoramously

BBC News reports on plans to force all UK citizens to have ID cards, with biometric (such as iris and fingerprint) information in a national register.

This, while very worrying, is not the main issue. This one is:

Mr Blunkett claimed independent research showed eight out of 10 members of the public backed ID cards.

But his Lib Dem opposite number, Mark Oaten, suggested that 5,000 unfavourable consultation responses had been not been counted as they had been submitted through an anti-ID card website.

WHAT THE PROVERBIAL FUCK?

"We are not counting negative votes because they come from people who oppose our plan. Besides, they use the pesky internet, which - as we well know - is filled with pirates and child-porn dealers, so their votes cannot be counted."

What kind of a democracy is that? Just ignore the grassroots movements because it's convinient?

Tuesday, 11-Nov-03 16:21
Blimey

"Terry asks if there are countries that block Google results. Their first answer: the United States. "The United States has the Digital Millenium Copyright Act [...] there are probably a handful of sights -- maybe a hundred web pages are blocked for that reason. [...] In France and Germany there are some rules against Nazi sites [...] a handful of sites are blocked."

Yup. The good thing is that Google is not forbidden to talk about what they block. The bad thing is that the blocks are there. And the scary thing is that they are needed in the first place.

(Also note the interesting rumors that Google has been sending spiders to IRC channels.)

Via the Google Weblog.

Tuesday, 11-Nov-03 12:24
Smileysy

The Smiley Toolkit allows you to configure and generate your own smileys. Via Universal Rule.

Tuesday, 11-Nov-03 10:18
Scripty

Whee, now even iTunes knows how to ping this weblog with the currently playing song, thanks to a nifty piece of Applescript from Matthew A. Haughey. Now I have full integration from Windows (~WinAMP), Linux (XMMS) and Mac OS X (iTunes)!

MP3 and weblogs bridge the operating system gaps more powerfully than anything else :-).

Monday, 10-Nov-03 21:39
Poetry...y
If they told you I'm mad, then they lied.
I'm odd, but it isn't compulsive.
I'm the triolet, bursting with pride;
If they told you I'm mad, then they lied.
No, it isn't obsessive. Now hide
All the spoons or I might get convulsive.
If they told you I'm mad then they lied.
I'm odd, but it isn't compulsive.

(Which poetry form are you? And of course, this all is again due to Merten, the man who tests himself more than your average mad scientist. And this all brought to you with a table-less layout :-).

Monday, 10-Nov-03 20:19
Contradictiony

Fun things abound today. Apple very nicely sent me a copy of invoice to my Powerbook, so I can get now get the Panther at a reduced price. Yay!

I had a good, solid, 8-hour day at work, got things done, got home at a decent hour, and while I'm still generating snot and mucus at an accelerated rate, I'm generally feeling better.

Something extraordinarily weird also happened today, and I'm kinda... confused. Blogging about it is probably the dumbest thing I can do... So, what do you say to a wonderful lady you meet online, who suddenly turns out to be someone you once knew - and you fail to remember her?

Sunday, 09-Nov-03 13:11
Slippy

Today, I threw a banana peel in the dishwasher, and nearly put my breakfast plates in the trashcan. I have no idea why; it just seemed to be the logical thing to do at the time - they both are, after all, things in which one can put other things.

I'm sure everyone else does this, too. I think there's even word for it, but I'll be darned if I remember it.

Todays enlightenment: Lately, many ISPs have been having serious email cloggage, and it's hard to tell when your emails are really working and when they are not. However, spam is the lifeline! As long as you are getting your regular dosage of spam, you know your email works! There are some more ideas on how to use spam positively on Joi Ito's Wiki.

Saturday, 08-Nov-03 12:10
Fally

The Hietaniemi Cemetery at an autumn dawn. It kinda looks South-European, doesn't it?. Unfortunately this picture does not do justice to all of the wonderful autumn colors, encircling this old chapel.

These places reminds us of those people who died during the War. While it was a long time ago, there still are old people who remember, and places like these help us to remember it too.

Friday, 07-Nov-03 18:53
Emaily ranty

I've been using '+' -addresses to register to different places. You know, my email address here is "jalkanen+jspwiki@ecyrd.com". For random companies I am "jalkanen+randomcompany@ecyrd.com". This has a couple of advantages:

  1. I can see if anyone has sold my contact information, even though they told me they wouldn't.
  2. It is rather easy to filter the incoming messages.
  3. It works transparently on most MTAs, no config required.
  4. It confuses most spambots - I can just trash all messages to "jspwiki@ecyrd.com", because email harvesters in general do not understand the "+" -notation and just imagine that "jalkanen+jspwiki@ecyrd.com" is really "jspwiki@ecyrd.com" Yay!

However it does have some negative side effects as well. The most annoying are the moronic web masters and web page coders, who think it's really, really useful to check email addresses for typos. This wouldn't be so bad, except that they think that "+" is not a legal character in an email address. Well, guess what, it is. And now I can't renew my IEEE membership because the incredibly helpful system thinks I am a moron who cannot spell his email address...

Gah. These are exactly the kind of failures you don't want to see... I mean, I can stand my Mac crashing every now and then, I know how to prepare for those incidents. Cars break down sometimes, no worries.

But imagine a car which thinks that you cannot sit on the drivers seat because you are wearing the wrong pants? "Sorry, these pants are not compatible with the color of this car." Or an operating system which says that "your name cannot be Janne, since there is no such name in English language, and you have bought an UK operating system."

Ngh. Being annoyed and having a flu is not good for your health.

Friday, 07-Nov-03 10:06
Meaty

Since everybody else is linking to the Meatrix, I should too. Good campaign, good thoughts.

On a more positive note, I feel almost like a complete human being this morning. I did have the most disturbing dream though: I kept dreaming that I was awake, and only the slightest oddities kept me wondering whether I am really asleep or not. No major things, just some really, really small things that were quite not there, so to say. For example, my room does not have a blue, glass flowerpot, but I kept trying to remember whether I actually had bought one. As often in dreams, remembering past things is difficult.

Thursday, 06-Nov-03 16:58
Sicky

Brain still mush.

So, let's recap... I've got a flu, a dead aunt, I was invited yesterday to *four* different places, all of which I would've loved to have gone but couldn't because of the flu, George W. Bush continues to be a moron, I am missing an important and highly interesting seminar at work, I managed to scare off a potential new friend, my place is a complete mess, I managed to botch both of my tapings of Xena (don't ask), I'm likely to miss tomorrow's cooking class which was supposed to be really great, I've managed to misplace all of my thermometers, and I also seem to have thrown away the receipt for my Powerbook while feverish, so I may have to pay the full price for Panther.

Somebody, give me good news, quick. Anything goes.

Update (two minutes later): Well, that didn't take long. Way to go, Suvi!

Wednesday, 05-Nov-03 09:43
Überconnectivity

I just noticed that I can receive FOUR different WLAN networks in my apartment, including my own.

Wow.

There really is little justification these days to hard-wire your apartment anyway. WLAN is too cheap and simple to set up...

Tuesday, 04-Nov-03 20:32
Morbidity

This is probably just some statistical fluke, but...

Almost every time I go abroad for at least a week, someone I know dies.

This time, it was my other grand-aunt. May she rest in peace.

(If you know me personally, you should start getting worried around New Year's.)

Tuesday, 04-Nov-03 12:46
gxblt

Tired. Flu.

My throat feels like someone had been gleefully pumped a bottle brush up and down it during the night. My brain feels like a three pounds of slightly rancid tofu, and my shoulders feel as if I had been arm-wrestling a 300-pound gorilla AND its entire tribe.

What joy it is to be back in the dark and dull Helsinki, where we have now entered the "dead" season; a season between autumn and winter, during which the most interesting thing outside is the howling wind. It's dark (no snow yet, but Sun still sleeps most of the day), cold, wet, and all people look miserable.

Monday, 03-Nov-03 17:48
Some day, somewhere above Siberia

Don't know what time it is, and I only know where I am by the virtue of a smallish white plane on a green map that is shown on the displays. I know I probably should be sleeping, but my internal clock is still probably somewhere on Hawaii on vacation. I hope I get a postcard.

It turned out that Monday was actually a holiday in Japan. This meant that all traffic was on Sunday schedule, and thus we cut it very close getting to the plane... I always do that. Note to self: Always reserve four hours to travel to Narita.

Monday, 03-Nov-03 17:47
Sunday evening, during a lull in packing frenzy

The Faithful.
Whee, I got to watch a go professional match from the TV this morning! O Rissei Judan was taking on Yamashita Keigo in a 30 second/move television cup series. It's amazing how simple moves pros make, and how much they emphasize good shape in fast games.

Anyway, we finally went to an area unknown to me called Odaiba, which has apparently grown to be a big entertainment area in the past few years. You get there on a very sci-fi, driverless train traveling high above the Tokyo Bay, and then you see rows and rows of shopping malls, gaming malls (!) and amusement parks (with a complete WW2 bomber).

Our main target was the "Venus Fort", a shopping mall which has been designed to mimic 17th century Rome, and targeted at young women - including shops like Barbie clothes for adults (yes, really, for wearing). We ended up in a Jean-Paul Gaultier shop, where I saw a wallet which I simply had to get. Heli got a bag, and Erik got nearly a coat, but was saved by the fact that there were no proper sizes available.

The rest of the evening we spent in Hirajuku, which is filled with gorgeous stuff - stuff that would make any goth weep with joy. After the shops closed, we went to Shibuya for a quick bite. I - again - had to pay a visit to the statue of a dog that is right next to the Shibuya station. It is a popular meeting place, and the story is that this dog escorted his master every day to the train station as he left for work, and always came back in the evening to welcome his master back home. Then one day, the master died, but the dog would keep coming every evening to meet the train; every day it would come, until it died, to wait for his master who would never come back.

For some reason, seeing the statue and remembering this beautiful story always brings a tear to my eye. Bah, damned romantic me.

Monday, 03-Nov-03 17:46
Sunday, after the hardest day so far

Hydrogen was the cool thing in this picture. Honest.
Heli arrived early on Saturday morning by bus from Sendai. After we managed to wake Erik up four hours later, we hopped on a bus and left for the two-hour trip to Tokyo International Motor Show near Chiba.

The show is full of concept cars, pretty girls, normal cars, pretty girls, strange cars, pretty girls, cool motorcycles, and pretty girls. There were also some pretty girls displaying the warez, so to speak. I managed to fill two memory cards and use up two batteries of my digital camera...

Not entirely unsurprisingly, the biggest stands and the biggest crowds were drawn by the Japanese manufacturers. Especially Toyota's concept cars with many blinkenlichts were nearly impossible to get near to, but old hats like Ferrari and Lamborghini were doing pretty well, too. My personal favourites were the Jaguar stand (the best looking cars) and the Subaru stand (the best looking... aw, forget it).

Cometh evening, and my feet were hurting so bad, I could sometimes feel flashes of pain starting from the sole and going up to my buttocks.

Monday, 03-Nov-03 17:45
Friday (or to be exact, Saturday)

OK, let me repeat myself here: Imagine a bar. You know, your average theme bar where for example you are handcuffed at the entrance and "guards" serve drinks in miniskirts. Squeeze it down to your kitchen. Stack six of these on top of each other, connect with a stair case.

Put ten in a row.

Put ten rows in ten columns.

Now, imagine 50 blocks of those, packed tightly.

Decorate with blinkenlichts, populate with 200,000 drunken people.

Roppongi.

It's Another Place.

Oh, by the way... I thought I was completely immune to shopping sprees, as it is really difficult for me to actually buy stuff. Not so.

In Harajuku (a place where the young people go hang out and do strange stuff) me and Erik walked by a Japanese toy shop. We just dropped in to see if there was anything interesting, and walked out with bags bulging with stuff; including things like extremely cute stuffed animals, "Gloomy" -bear strappu, puzzles and all sorts of other stuff we really don't want you to know about.

Then we hit the shopping streets, filled with so many cool clothes that even I felt my jaded heart to move. It was impossible to really move, since every shop looked interesting and we wanted to buy IT ALL! YES! STUFF! IT MUST BE MINE!

It was not a shopping spree. It was a shopping rampage. The combination of Akihabara and Harajuku is simply something nobody can resist. We stopped the rampage at Lamborghini Roppongi, which ... slightly exceeded our budget.

(I hear you ask: "What is Gloomy bear?" Well, Gloomy is a fluffy bear with big eyes who just simply likes to eat people and rip their guts off. But only in an adorable and cute sort of way, so it's okay. It also has rockets on its feet so it can fly.)

Thursday, 30-Oct-03 13:21
Wednesday evening, all electrified

Evening: So, after a quick stroll around Ginza, we walked through Kanda to Akihabara, and particularly its Electric Town. Later on, we were met by a fellow JSPWiki user, Murray, who was kindly took us to a all-you-can-eat shabu-shabu place - a place we would not have found in a million years. It really makes you wonder how the Tokyo-dwellers actually find these restaurants anyway: the competition must be fierce, and being on the 8th floor of some obscure building with six other restaurants makes standing out... difficult.

By the way: If you don't know what Akihabara is, let me paint a picture for you: Imagine the biggest electronic shop that you know. Now, take away all extra space, and imagine all the stuff in a room that's about the size of an average living room.

Then, put six on these on top of each other, and connect with a stair case.

Put ten of these in a row.

Put ten of those rows in columns.

Now, imagine 50 blocks of those, packed tightly with nary a room for a small cafe or a soba bar between them.

Decorate with the amount of blinkenlichts equivalent of New York during Christmas.

Populate with 200,000 people, coming and going, shouting advertisements, selling and buying.

Akihabara.

It's The Place.

Wednesday, 29-Oct-03 07:33
Wednesday, about 1 am

The Japanese TV has not lost any of its allure. We just watched a program where four guys were stopping random pretty girls and giving them a pair of bikinis. In the evening, the girls arrived at the TV studio, and a game ensued, where the guys were trying to guess which bikinis the girls had chosen, while ogling at them unashamedly. Correct guesses were awarded with a view and a short talk with the girl (in the bikini, if course).

Most of the commercials are mind-boggling, too. Of course, drinking half a liter of sake does make the stuff more hilarious than it probably is, but... Japanese TV still beats any mind-expanding drugs.

...

Later: We are now sitting inside the architectural miracle called the Tokyo International Forum. Free ~WiFi, yay!

Wednesday, 29-Oct-03 07:31
Shinkansen train to Tokyo

We slept rather late this morning, and thus had time to visit only one area. We chose the Kinkaku-ji, aka the Golden Temple, and the nearby Zen Garden of ?. The Golden Temple is quite okay, and luckily we got in during a time when there weren't too many tourists. However, the Zen garden was a bit of a shocker: I recognized the place. It's really a very strange feeling to walk into a place you are certain you have never been to, and realize you have seen it before. And it wasn't just a phantom deja vu; in fact, I actually had seen the garden in a couple of movies. I think the last one was Stupeur et Tremblements the story of Amelie Nothcombe that I saw two months ago.

Nevertheless, the garden is a wonderful place. Even though there's a constant chatter and creak of the floorboards from the flow of tourists, there's something calming and soothing about the atmosphere. I could've spent hours upon hours there, just sitting. Not really even thinking, just letting the mind wander.

I wonder how difficult it would be to construct a rock garden of my own?

Wednesday, 29-Oct-03 07:27
Monday, sitting on the floor

After arrival, we grabbed something quick to eat (and even that quick turned out to be very good and left for an evening stroll to the Kodai-ji temple. It had been lit with amazing colors, and I managed to use almost all of my 128MB memory card, trying to grab fleeting photographs in the diminishing light. I got perhaps three good shots, and as an extra bonus, a nice picture of Mars next to an ancient temple.

Now, off to the city on bikes.

...

Around midnight: OK, I would claim that my feet are killing me, but apparently putting them in a nice kotatsu and sipping sake makes them forget such morbid thoughts. Now they are soaking in the warmth of the second most important Japanese invention to date.

Kyoto really is a good city for biking. Even though you couldn't travel too fast on them, and they steered like drunken camels, it's really easy to cover a lot of ground. Most of Kyoto's more interesting sights are on the edge of the city, which means that you can lose a lot of time traveling between them. And the city is mostly flat, except for the East side. Of course, we mostly went to there, since there's the Ginkaku-ji, the fabled Silver Temple. We first went to see the Shogun's Palace, built for Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1603.

I have to say that the Ginkaku-ji was a slight disappointment; the Shogun's house (with the nightingale floor!) and yesterday's light display with the garden were far more interesting.

We also accidentally met some other Finns talking loudly outside the Ginkaku-ji: "500 Yen!?! We're not paying that much money!" Someone in the family pointed out - quite correctly - that they had flown in 8000 km, and paid a handsome amount of moolah for the privilege as well, so it would be rather stupid to start skimping now. They finally entered, right after us, and their kid (the one that was not wearing running clothes, the standard Finnish attire for everything) started promptly poking and peeking where one is not really supposed to be poking and peeking.

We spoke mostly English with Erik after that, and tried to avoid our countrymen.

I also learned that my hand-eye-ear co-ordination requires an upgrade, as Erik repeatedly beat me in a "taiko"-game, where the aim is to bang on realistic-looking drums with sticks to the tunes of popular music. It was extraordinarily fun, though... The evening was finished in Ganko, an expensive looking restaurant that we had been tipped on. The bill of the evening was about 90 euros for two persons, but frankly, I have seldom eaten so well. I was already on the brink of becoming full, as the kimono-clad waitresses started carrying in more food. I now know how to eat tohu, bean milk that is sort of cooked at the table, and then eaten with vinegar. Um. The result is something resembling a cross between slightly boiled egg and tofu, and eating it requires some serious chopsticking skills.

Wednesday, 29-Oct-03 07:20
Sunday, after a very, very long flight on which I was convinced on the genius of those nice folks at Pixar.

The living room.
You know, when you get too relaxed you start to make mistakes. I took a bit of a laid back attitude to the whole Japan travel thingy, and it really paid back today...

First of all, we actually are on board a Shinkansen Nozomi train traveling towards Kyoto at 250km/h. However, not a single one of my dozen dictionaries or travel guides is with me; they are sitting nicely on the bookshelf at my living room where I left them. It is not a good idea to travel here without a basic dictionary or at least a kanji-to-any-human-readable-language translator.

It also took us three tries to get aboard the right plane in Helsinki. First, we tried to leave for some unknown destination, but luckily the flight personnel managed to grab and herd us back from the tube. After that, we stood for a long time in the queue to Amsterdam, until we realized that we were supposed to go to gate 26a, not 26.

After we arrived to Tokyo, I also realized I had forgotten at least one somewhat important paper with a relatively important address back home. However, I have utmost trust to the Japanese mentality of getting packages to their correct owners, no matter what. So I improvised on the address.

Oh well. At least "Finding Nemo" is a fully fledged airline movie: doesn't require too much intelligence, is fun to watch, and has some unforgettable characters. Dude.

Feels good to be back here.

Same Sunday, later on: We're now arrived at Hirota Guest House, which (as you can see) is a pretty nifty place for a measly sum of 7000 yen/night. Our walk here was interrupted by a neverending succession of people, holding some sort of a festival, dancing and blocking the traffic on a major street. Which was fun. We still have many hours of Sunday to go; we gotta go exploring!

(I think my internal clock just left me its resignation notice, citing consistent abuse.)

Saturday, 25-Oct-03 13:08
The Hat Is On The Move

Tokyo, here we come...

Friday, 24-Oct-03 19:58
Weekend Conversations

Todays absurd moment: I'm standing, minding my own business, on the tram stop, when an obviously drunken gentleman approaches me and makes this wonderful opening statement:

"<uncomprehensible> Do you wanna have your face bashed in immediately or now?"

Err. My old reflexes kick in and I slide back to a lower, defensive position. A friend of the eloquent speaker drags the man away, putting his arm over his shoulder and murmurs something I can't hear. They move further, surrounded by an invisible ring pushing everyone else at least three meters away.

The guy standing next to me comments:

"I would've protected you."

I stammer something resembling thanks in reply, kinda surprised at this sudden helpfulness.

"Yea, it's easier to block the punches from the side" he continues cheerily. "Just kick them with the knee to the stomach, that's what you gotta do to those types. They won't stop otherwise."

At this point, I'm pretty much speechless. He may have a point, but to sound so happy at the thought of getting involved in a fight and hurting another person; not to mention being so dismissive against those who are not doing so well... I felt angrier at my "helper" than the aggressor.

I was saved by an arriving tram, and all those wonderful personalities disappeared, hopefully never to be seen again.

Perhaps I should've asked him the same question: "<uncomprehensible> Do you wanna have your face bashed in immediately or now?"

Friday, 24-Oct-03 11:27
First snow

Whee! It's the slippery season again...

If only the Helsinki winters were like this all the time, but unfortunately soon it will be dark and grey for months.

Thursday, 23-Oct-03 16:20
Hate Longhorn

OK, Hell is really freezing over (Helsinki most certainly is): Apple does Windows software and Microsoft opens up Longhorn development.

I'm amazed: Microsoft is actually trying to do the right thing for a change. It took them a long time, but yeah, I think their move is probably for the best for all concerned parties. I for one, heartily welcome this idea. Go MS!

But I've lately realized I'm moving into the "unconcerned party" -list. I no longer really need Windows for anything, except occasionally at work, and even then, the good olde Windows 2000 is good enough.

I think that Longhorn's biggest challenge will be to keep up the public interest, and still be really, really good when it comes to the market. Because the sloth is late, and the competition is quickly catching up.

Thursday, 23-Oct-03 12:54
Philosophy test

I have this vague recollection that I've done this test before (in Finnish), but I seem to be unable to find the results. Anyhoo, here are the results of the Helsinkian Jury, translated into the most common language in the world (that is, bad English) by yours truly, ready to be added to the list of other dumb tests I've taken:

Three closest philosophers and match percentage:

  1. Kari Enqvist 79.0%
  2. Tuure Lehén 72.0%
  3. Machiavelli 71.0%

The person most disagreeing with you is Helena Petrovna Blavatsky 46.0%.

The following obscure Finnish opinion leaders agreed with you:

  1. Novelist Matti Mäkelä 78.0%
  2. MEP Esko Seppänen 76.0%
  3. Pop. artist Simo Frangen 74.0%

(Via Tira & Misu & The Third One)

Thursday, 23-Oct-03 00:20
Confessions of a switcher

OK, opinions so far on the Powerbook (after a few hours of tampering with it) from this Linux oldtimer:

  • This machine is simply beautiful. Even the packaging was aesthetically pleasing.
  • Setting up a WLAN connection turned out to be difficult; I simply couldn't make the Mac and my DLink base station to agree on a common WEP password. So I'm running a naked network now.
  • iTunes (and especially the radio feature) is a very well designed piece of software, and I hope the Windows version is equally good.
  • Built-in Bluetooth is a must.
  • The display is unfortunately not a very good one; my Sharp Actius has a far better display.
  • It is incredible how fast this machine wakes up from sleep.
  • I like Debian, and thus Fink is simply the coolest thing since... well. The ability to say "apt-get install cvs" and trivially install software is a geeks daydream.
  • The keyboard has keys in funny positions (where is the tilde?), and the touchpad is a tad too much to the right for my typing position: I tend to move my cursor randomly.
  • Safari 1.0 is a very good web browser. I usually always use Mozilla Firebird, but I think I might just live with Safari for a while.
  • Upgrading to OS 10.2.8 was the simplest OS upgrade ever. Way to go, Apple.

All in all, I'm liking it pretty much so far. I'll post some more impressions later on...

Update: OK, slightly more impressed now: I wanted to move from my WLAN connection to a local 100 Mbps Ethernet to copy all of my music on this computer. I plug the cable in and start to look for any kind of setting that would tell the Mac that it should be using now the Ethernet connection instead of the Airport. Can't find any with a quick look, so I decide to test it: and lo and behold, it automatically picked up the new connection, got a DHCP address and is now happily routing my LAN traffic through the faster wired network - without me ever telling it to!

Wednesday, 22-Oct-03 20:58
Game on, game off

Went to see the GameOn exhibit that's currently in Helsinki. It was good fun for a while to ogle at that old stuff (some of which I remember owning - and Parappa the Rapper is *still* the best game ever developed for PS2), but a sudden headache cut the evening short and forced me to return home.

Well, yesterday's high was properly matched by todays low. I don't recall having this bad a day at work for a long time: I am getting badly behind schedule, I am not even completely certain what I am supposed to be doing, and I have sincerely started to believe that teleconferences at 8 am should be marked with clear signs saying "DANGER. KEEP OFF."

I was somehow too messed up today even to enjoy my Powerbook, which arrived a few days earlier than expected. I was hoping that they would ship it late, and I would get it then with 10.3 (out on Friday), but no can do.

Oh well. Two days to go, everything is still messed up, and I think I'm getting a flu.

Wednesday, 22-Oct-03 09:35
Yle gets it

The Finnish Broadcasting Company has started to offer RSS feeds of their daily programming schedule. You can now choose between todays sports programming, selected picks, or upcoming movies.

Yay! Progress!

All I now need to do is to write a simple filter that reads the streams and picks my interests, and reformats the feed for me... A TV programming aggregator! :-)

Wednesday, 22-Oct-03 00:06
We wish to retract the previous article...

Um. Strike out the "sad" from the geek part and replace with "happy". And thanks to whoever who arranged the clear night and the aurora borealis. I owe you one, mate.

Anyway: I got bitten today by a "misgoogle": Someone approached me asking if this represents in any way my true feelings towards women. Well, duh, no, it's a roleplaying game character. Yes, I did write it, but it is a character, like in a play... I never really realized before how much old stuff there's about me in the web that might be misinterpreted as something that I really am not. And some stuff that's not about me, but that could be seen as being about me. And some stuff that's really about me, but... Well, you get the picture.

Googling your new acquaintances can be a real asset, yes, but when you get hit by a misgoogle... There's no end to potential confusion. Russell tells us how his weblog helped him to get a job, and some people have lost their job due to weblogs. I'm pretty sure some of us have gained friends through weblogs, and some of us have lost them... The internet is a harsh place to be, and impression management strategy is difficult.

And it's not just what you have on the web now: Through Google groups it's possible to find a lot of old articles you wrote in a heat of a moment, and are now saved for all posterity. Also, the Internet archive stores all web pages it can find for as long as there's still an electron flowing through the power lines.

It has become harder and harder to lie, and our society can't really handle lies anymore: everything has become too easy to check. We all do want to lie occasionally, and sometimes consistently, but the local village rumor mills have been replaced by Google and public institutions. Perhaps this is good for your privacy, perhaps it's not, who knows.

But I don't know if that's really a symptom of something deeper, or is it just the process of natural adjustment to new technology until we figure out how to deal with the issues. I hope and believe it's the latter.

Tuesday, 21-Oct-03 17:50
"Ugh"

I have been informed that somewhere in this city there's a person whom I do not know, but who wants to know what kind of graphics hardware do I have at home, and for some reason considers this information paramount to my (possible) future social life.

Dear geek, it is very sad to ask that question in that context.

It is even more sad to answer it.

And NOBODY beats me when it comes to being a sad geek.

It is an ELSA Gladiac 920 ~GeForce 3.

Monday, 20-Oct-03 23:21
PANIC

You know the feeling.

It starts from the pit of your stomach, as a queasy kind of feeling. It slowly, innocuously moves upwards, and wraps its invisible straps around your chest while you're not looking. It sends its tendrils to your fingers, which start trembling ever so slightly. Then it lodges itself firmly in your throat, and tightens the straps.

"Why am I this nervous? Why do I worry?" you ask yourself, trying to rationalize your fear, attempting to sooth your nerves, but still knowing that when tomorrow cometh, you will be even more nervous.

Panic: Because some meetings just are more important than others.

Monday, 20-Oct-03 12:26
Share the guilt

grouphug.us gives you the ability to confess anonymously whatever is nagging you. Just in case you want something off your chest.

Sunday, 19-Oct-03 20:24
Archives

After a couple of hours of quick coding, there's now a Weblog Archive plugin for JSPWiki, proudly presented on the right-hand menu. Now you can easily read all of my older ramblings as well. If you are really, really bored, that is.

Sunday, 19-Oct-03 03:46
Plantblog

While traveling to have our irregular gaming night (just finished, thankyouverymuch, I am very happy that that part of the campaign is now over), we stopped at a flower shop to get some nice green thingies for the hosts when I saw this utterly cute little Venus Flytrap. Had to buy it, of course. Let's see how my fruit flies like *that*!

(Some people like to blog about their cats - indeed, cat pictures can be called the primus motor of the blogosphere - but I choose plants. Make of it what you will.)

Friday, 17-Oct-03 23:59
Not so extraordinary, and hardly gentlemen either

Went to see LXG, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Comic good.

Movie bad. Very bad.

Rarely do I get the urge to leave the theatre during the movie. This time, right after about 45 minutes into the film, the small devil started to whisper in my ear: "You know, you are sitting quite close to the aisle. You could leave with little trouble to others. You could still go home and watch Y tu mamá también which you just picked up from a sale..." And if I weren't so darned lazy, I probably would've left.

I'll review the movie and rave lunatically about its thorough lack of personality, coherence, and general goodness, if someone asks for it. I'm too tired now. And I don't know whether the movie is even worth a review. DisapPOINTed, as Kevin Kline says in A Fish Called Wanda.

Friday, 17-Oct-03 11:00
Which greek god are you?


Wwww... what do you mean - Athena? But on Xena, she's always such a bitch!

Though she does have that cool army of female soldiers that never die...

(Via too many blogs.)

Thursday, 16-Oct-03 22:59
Hyperlife
And now for a word for the Finnish blogosphere: Puhutaanpa välillä suomeksikin, ettei ihan sentään tarvitse jokaisen lukijan koko ajan päätään raapia: Tira ja Mikki, tulkaa takaisin. Me kaipaamme teitä ja kirjoituksianne! Henri: Niihin kuviin ei kyllä kannattaisi kovin kallista kameraa käyttää: menee kuitenkin linssi rikki. Sitäpaitsi, mistä löytyisi sokea valokuvaaja? Mindy: Jees! Way to go girl! :-)

Joichi Ito introduced the terms m-time and p-time from Edward Hall. "P-time (polychronic) systems are characterized by several things happening at once."

I've recently noticed the same thing, too. I spend far less time on email and other linear, structured things, and suddenly I've become multi-connected, switching tasks at a very fast rate. You know, while the software is compiling, you check IRC, and RecentChanges, and a couple of blogs... But this is something I've been doing a long time anyway, and I've learned to be pretty adept at multitasking. No biggie. I've always done random things as well, with little connection to my actual life.

But oddly enough, lately I've felt like my social relationships are in p-time as well: I know a lot of people, and a lot of those people don't really know each other. So I try to balance between multiple, different social groups (and apologies to everyone whom I have been neglecting)... Someone called my blog "disjointed", that you really can't get a coherent picture of my life or what I do just by looking at it. But then again, I feel disjointed, too. It's like I am this vast hypermedia document that has links everywhere. Some you click more often, some you click less often. But they all lead to different places, and many of those documents don't know of their linkage.

I have a "hyperlife".

Perhaps it's a typical phenomenon[1] for people who lead an active online life. Or perhaps I'm just a freak.


[#1]: "Phenomena - Do do, do-do-do - Phenomena - Do do, do-do-do". Ever since have I been in love with Sandra Bullock. And if you know *this* obscure reference, I congratulate you for being a true geek.
Wednesday, 15-Oct-03 15:58
A pint of <deleted>

http://www.guinness.com

"We are sorry that you cannot visit Guinness.com, but the laws of your country do not allow you to view our site."

WHAT!?!

(via Another blogging Janne.)

Wednesday, 15-Oct-03 12:21
WHAM

I've been watching Boomtown on and off; it seemed like a decent series with some potential so I wanted to give it a chance. Yesterday's episode, "Insured by Smith & Wesson", blew the bank. It first built up the tension a bit, and just when you thought you got the episode figured out, they spun it in a completely strange direction, and then, just when you got over that shock, they spun it in a different direction. And this all told in a completely disjointed, non-linear fashion, that makes fast-forwarding through an episode impossible.

What? A TV series that actually relies on the intelligence of its viewers, and one that can still catch me completely unawares after watching Babylon 5, the one that introduced the concept of WHAM?

I'm hooked.

Wednesday, 15-Oct-03 11:15
Public, private, secret

No, I am not talking about Java access modifiers, but about this wonderful article from Danny O'Brien, who explains why the notion of privacy is bound to disappear from the online world. He discerns the notion of "public", "private" and "secret", and continues to note that:

On the net, you have public, or you have secrets. The private intermediate sphere, with its careful buffering. is shattered. E-mails are forwarded verbatim. IRC transcripts, with throwaway comments, are preserved forever. You talk to your friends online, you talk to the world.

This is why, incidentally, why people hate blogs so much. My God, people say, how can Livejournallers be so self-obsessed? Oh, Christ, is Xeni talking about LA art again? Why won't they all shut up?

One thing that Danny does not discuss about is that on-line, it is sometimes difficult (especially if you arrive to a site through Google) to discern what discussion is current and what is not. Anyone can come and read about things I've done or thought that I would not share with a new, recently acquired friend. This turns the notion of private space on its head... So permalinks could be considered harmful in that sense as well.

Yes, this weblog is my private space. No, it's not a secret. But it's not really meant to be public either. It just happens to be public. It will be a long, hard ride before we learn what can be considered private in a transparent society.

Very, very good and thought-provoking reading. (And it's all, oddly enough, thanks to Andrew Orlowski, the blog-hating reporter of The Register, who was very miffed about the FOO camp.)

Tuesday, 14-Oct-03 18:37
JSPWiki joins Debian

Yup. Just got the note from Killer, the man who has been valiantly maintaining the .deb packages.

Ahem.

JSPWiki will be available as a part of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution.

Just say "apt-get install jspwiki". The easiest installation in the world... It should be available in the "unstable" section within a week or so. I've been using Debian for years, and now I can install JSPWiki as easily as anything else I use... Err. Except that I have to bitch to myself about all the bugs.

(Can I just state, for the record, how incredibly cool this is? Woo-hoo! /me dances happily.)

Tuesday, 14-Oct-03 17:43
Ego Stroking and Geek Envy

Whee, Michael compares JSPWiki to SnipSnap. SnipSnap is one of my favourite wiki engines, outside of JSPWiki, of course. It's actually being developed by three people who are - or at least were at some point - paid to do it by the German government or something, so to get a (quick) review with so many "yes"-ses is certainly uplifting.

I'm pretty sure we can address some of those concerns quite soon =). At least comments and customizable markup (through WikiFilters) are already in CVS.

The thing that I really like about ~SnipSnap is the fact that their setup time is wonderfully fast, since they include a HTTP server...

(Via Erik, the überlinker)

Tuesday, 14-Oct-03 17:07
"Without the olives"

Today, for the first time in my life I went to a cafe and ordered "the usual, please", and got what I wanted.

I think someone should write a list of these small milestones. That way I could track my progress towards middle-agedness. You know, like a project.

Why? So that I could miss the deadline...

Monday, 13-Oct-03 18:09
Blog Babes

So, you take a bunch of naked or semi-naked, beautiful Italian women, and make them blog? I demand naked pictures of my fellow Finnish bloggers, too.

Somehow I think that meme won't stick.

(Via Don Park.)

Monday, 13-Oct-03 17:37
Hehe

I've been today called "down-to-earth rational and whacked out at the same time".

Yup. That's me.

(I wonder whether there's a medical name for it?)

Monday, 13-Oct-03 14:44
Back for the future
The past tempts us, the present confuses us, and the future frightens us. And our lives slip away, moment by moment, lost in that vast terrible inbetween.
-- Centauri Emperor and Sheridan in Babylon 5: "The Coming of Shadows"

On Sunday, I woke up at ten at the sound of the door going as the last guest from the evening left. I grabbed a painkiller and crashed back in bed. The rest of the day was spent in a comfortable numbness, watching classic 80s dance movies like Flashdance.

The movies got me into a nostalgic mood, "pining for my lost youth", and I spent a while reminiscing and thinking how my life was 15 years ago. Unfortunately the pile of dishes back home turned the nostalgia into a strange mixture of loathing, nostalgia, and self-pity. (Note to self: don't offer so much booze to your friends that they forget to offer to do the dishes.) I seasoned the pot with radio station "Sputnik" that plays Russian dance-pop to truck drivers traveling in Southern Finland, in order gain that final slice of absurdity. Suddenly, I gained a whole new insight into the wise words above...

Who needs mind-expanding drugs anyway? You can just think yourself into an altered state.

The only problem is that you get a moral hangover instead of a physical one. It's too easy to do stupid things.

Sunday, 12-Oct-03 03:24
Drunken blogging

Yup. Today (or yesterday, to be exact), I've mostly been concerned cooking to a bunch of good friends. Cooking Japanese style is fun, though it tends to take a surprising amount of time. And I am like *so* disappointed at the fact that it was impossible to find good, raw tuna anywhere in Helsinki. Boo hiss.

It is amazing how many times you have to press Backspace when you write a blog entry at this hour.

O piuöld of fource sot press backspace at all, but that text might not be so read bale after all. You know, when your are drunk, yot te d to miss the keusys sometjims.

Friday, 10-Oct-03 17:53
Support Wikipedia

Donate to Wikipedia, says Infoanarchy. Yes, sir! Right away, sir!

Wikipedia is a prime example about what a dedicated community armed with wiki technology can do. Other examples are Sensei's Library, and suomigo.net, which have both grown to be community hubs and key resources for go players.

It seems that wikis have really found their place in three areas, when looking at lists of Wikis, and the JSPWiki:WikiSites:

  1. Community support sites
  2. Project support (such as the CocoonWiki)
  3. Intranets

But from all this it is clear that a wiki needs a clearly defined purpose and a dedicated user community. Otherwise it will wither and die under the pressure from the lack of frequent gardening.

Friday, 10-Oct-03 16:08
FCC Attempts Sanity, Koreans Strike Back
Friday, 10-Oct-03 15:05
A coctail party of traffic signs

I feel like a paparazzi...

Friday, 10-Oct-03 00:11
Wiki and FOAF

This is the kinda stuff I think and do when I am tired:

You know, Wiki pages are kinda like friends to each other, since they, you know, link to each other. And kinda like... FOAF is somehow supposed to link friends together with a machine-readable description, so... why not combine these two? And add a REST-style API to the whole thing should make it very stylish.

After thirty minutes of hacking I am proud to present WikiFOAF that just returns descriptions of WikiPages from jspwiki.org as if they were people. Now you can use the FOAF explorer to FOAF JSPWiki! If you want to have the FOAF of a specific page, just add the parameter "page=<name of the page>", like http://www.jspwiki.org/wikifoaf.jsp?page=About.

And no, I have no idea why anyone would want to have a FOAF description of a WikiPage. I just wanted to do it. I guess this just means that there's now a way to ask which pages a WikiPage links to in a completely hype-compliant way without a specific API :-).

/me sits down, waiting for the inevitable cries of horror from FOAF folks. "It's a PERSON description language, not a DOCUMENT description language!"

Thursday, 09-Oct-03 23:05
Switch and techno-lust

A man opens the door and sighs. He grabs the piles and piles of paper lying on the floor: A magazine subscription, a two-day old newspaper he will never read, some junk mail, a letter or two from the bank - and last, a lone, white letter on which it stands with green, innocent letters: "Taxation Office".

That letter is saved last. It lies there, on the table, calling, waiting for an opportune moment. The man checks his email, does his laundry, makes some phone calls, watches a program on the TV. Waiting, considering.

Finally, there is no choice anymore. Reality must be faced eventually, however seductive the dream worlds are. The man reaches for the letter and slowly, methodically rips it open, right on the perforated line. His life in numbers rolls before his eyes.

"Your income... blaablaa"

"Your taxes... blaablaa"

"Tax Return/Supplemental Tax..."

The man stares at the figure for a moment. Then he calmly removes himself from the couch and walks to his computer. He enters the URL, and with trembling hands, orders himself a brand new 12" Apple Powerbook...

I really, really, really don't want to re-install Windows ever again.

Let's see how this union works out.

Thursday, 09-Oct-03 22:14
Spam me harder

OK, so Jeremy wants to do what Visa and other Finns did for free porn, but with penis enlargement.

I'm all for this. Let's all Googlefuck! Join in, link to Jeremy! Show the power of bloggers!

Cheap Viagra, Vicodin, Xanax, Prescription Drugs, and Penis Enlargement Pills!!!

You know you want 'em CHEAP, right?!?!
Low Price, Fast Delivery, PRIVACY! FDA Approved Medications online. SOMA, ADIPEX, Viagra, and MUCH MORE. Go Online. Fill out your Prescription Request. Your request will be reviewed by a Licensed US Physician. If Approved, your medication will be dispensed by a Licensed US Pharmacy. Requests received by 2:00 PM EST will arrive the very next business day.

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(If that ain't butt-ugly, nothing is :-). Wouldn't it be cool if I started advertisements like these running on a regular basis? Can you look at it for more than five seconds without getting a headache?

Thursday, 09-Oct-03 00:00
Books... Gotta love them.

I could spend weeks here.

Today I got to visit to the "Borgå Gymnasium" - the Porvoo High School, where they have one of the oldest libraries in Finland. A wonderful place: I got to handle a 350 year old, 13 kg Bible - that's what I call a book!

A manuscript by some guy called Benjamin Franklin.
There were a couple of interesting rarities, such as original copies of the first ever books published in Finnish from 1548 (The New Testament). And, of course, some lesser known authors... :-)

Wednesday, 08-Oct-03 13:12
Not my kinda place

You know, every time I go to the Haikko mansion the trip is a catastrophy.

Every single fucking time.

The odd thing is that there is no real reason for things to go wrong here: it's in a beautiful spot, the mansion itself is nice, the food is not bad, the rooms are well equipped, and there's a nice spa, but still... The whole place is very lackluster: there's really nothing to see, the food is something you remember afterwards, the air conditioning is just noisy enough to bother me, and the architecture of the spa building reminds me of a wart on a 17-year old beauty queen's face: it kinda sticks out.

Even the internet connection here exemplifies this weird duality: there's a WLAN network (progress!), but it costs 21€/24 hours (OUCH!). They also have free tea... but it's Lipton. They've got free beer... but it's Lapin Kulta (a relatively crappy lager, which just happens to be very popular.)

Yeah. This is not the place for me. I hope todays troubles were the last ones on this trip, but I doubt it. This place and me form some sort of a disaster magnet, and my problems have now a good chance to escalate from a "very irritating, but I can tolerate this" -status to "OMG, I will never work in this country again."

Too bad I don't always get the choice not to go.

Update: I even posted this on the wrong weblog yesterday. Wow. There's just no end to my troubles.

Tuesday, 07-Oct-03 20:21
Dork

There's a story behind this, but you wouldn't believe it.

Monday, 06-Oct-03 18:31
FOAFfing

I built myself a quick FOAF description. It ain't much yet, but it's here. FOAF looks like a cool idea; let's see if it's going anywhere.

Monday, 06-Oct-03 12:12
Technorati hits 1 million mark

...so tells us dsifry:

Today is an auspicious day, Technorati is now tracking over one million weblogs. We hit 100,000 back on March 5, and 200,000 on April. We hit the 400,000 mark on June 21. Technorati is currently tracking about 7,000 new weblogs per day, which means that a new weblog is being created approximately every 12 seconds. And I know we're not catching them all.

(Via Halley's Comment.)

Of course, just in case webloggers feel too smug about themselves, Andrew Orlowski predicts that soon most of them will be dead:

The "blogosphere" will number ten million souls by the end of 2004, but almost all of them will be dead.
...
Perseus finds that the fad is most popular amongst teenage girls. More than half of the weblogs surveyed are run by teenagers and 91.1 per cent are under 30. "Blogging is many things, yet the typical blog is written by a teenage girl who uses it twice a month to update her friends and classmates on happenings in her life," the report notes.

Actually, I wouldn't wonder at all if most of the weblogs were dead next year. IMY (In My Experience) most hobbies that require active participation have a 90% loss rate at about one year, so I would give any blog about a 10% chance to survive a year.

But out of 10 million weblogs, having 1 million active weblogs with their own dedicated audiences is a very large amount of people. And that means business and visibility for weblogs. The other thing to remember is that while writing to weblogs may not be everyone's hobby - reading them surely will be. The top list bloggers will continue to gain readership, as they still are the opinion makers, movers, and shakers of their respective areas.

We ain't seen the last of the blogs yet: there are many, many people around the world baking their noodles right now, striving to find new ways to utilize blogs. Some of them are going to hit gold.

Sunday, 05-Oct-03 18:24
ICIE

Thanks to Merten I now know that my Lipson-Shiu type is ICIE: (Torturer) A sadistic type who, rather than building an evil empire (though that may be a fringe benefit), devotes their time and considerable talents to making the world as unpleasant as possible. Often found in charge of human resources or very very large software companies.

Nice. You know, it kinda fits with my earlier Vlad the Impaler -result...

(Reminder to self: stop making these dumb tests. Now, if I only could find myself...)

Sunday, 05-Oct-03 18:13
Lazy Sunday afternoon

Lazy, indeed. Can't seem to be able to get much done - I am exhausted after last week's dose of workaholicness.

I did manage to actually buy the tickets to Japan yesterday though, so I'm definitely going now. Apparently we'll be spending the two first days in Kyoto, and then the rest in Tokyo. Now we'll just need to figure out a place to stay in Kyoto; Tokyo is already ok. I would really, really like to try a traditional Japanese ryōkan, but the budget might be out of my league (40,000¥/night is a bit too much :-).

Other than dreaming about a hot furō -bathtub (with a view), I've cooked, cleaned and in general done everything except the things that I am supposed to do. Like patching a kiloton of bugs in JSPWiki. I'm a bit too tired to think analytically right now...

You know, being an open source developer is not easy. Once you release your code to the public, it becomes apparent that the better your program is, the more you have to work for it. A good program is needed and used by many, and all those people want to pull you into different directions... If I were a writer, once a book is finished, I could just drop it and move to the next one, but with software there is no closure. There's always a little thing that can be tweaked, or a feature to be added, or a bug to be fixed.

I wonder if I should start having release parties, like the big software houses do?

Friday, 03-Oct-03 19:02
Conspiracy theorists, ahoy

Disquieting experience of the day: Accidentally spotting your own name on a lone A4 printout of a blog post, forgotten in the office printer tray.

Who printed it? Why? Why did he never fetch it? What does he know?

Friday, 03-Oct-03 15:48
Licenses, schmizenses

Today's DigiToday reports (in Finnish, sorry, I'll try to make a recap here) that the Finnish High Court has decreed that the right of first sale applies to mass-market computer software, even though the software license claims otherwise. So yeah, once you buy that copy of Windows, you may legally sell it onwards.

Just as it should be. You buy it from the shop, you don't license it.

KKO katsoi, että laajaan levitykseen tarkoitettujen tietokoneohjelmien kaupassa oli tosiasiallisesti kyse ohjelman lopullisesta luovutuksesta.

Yrittäjä oli hankkinut ohjelmat kertakorvausta vastaan, eikä niiden käyttöoikeutta ollut ajallisesti rajoitettu. Ohjelmistoyhtiöt eivät voineet yksipuolisesti rajoittaa ohjelmien kauppaa ja säilyttää itsellään määräysvaltaa yksittäiseen tietokoneohjelman kappaleeseen ja sen edelleen levittämiseen.

Roughly translated: The High Court decreed that sale of mass market software constitutes a final transfer. The entrepreneur had purchased the software for a set amount of money, and the licenses were not time-limited. Software companies cannot unilaterally limit further sales and maintain control over a single instance of a computer program and its further distribution.

Of course, this means that from now on, the yearly licensing model might just arrive in the consumer market as well... :-/

(The rest of the story? A crook got nailed for selling illegal copies of some unspecified software and was slammed with our equivalent of DMCA, copyright and trademark laws, and was also charged with license breach. The guy was only convicted of copyright violation for falsifying the license documents, fraud, forgery, and a violation of marketing laws and free trade laws. The license breach didn't stick, which spells good news for the rest of us.)

Wednesday, 01-Oct-03 14:47
Traveltraveltravel, nicenicenice

OK, I'm breaking my "if you want something to happen, don't tell about it in advance" -principle and the "if you are going traveling don't announce it on the public internet, you idiot" -principle:

I'll be in Tokyo/Kyoto area, leaving on 25.10 and returning on 3.11. I look forward to some shopping :-).

I'll also take part in the London Open Go tournament in (duh) London, UK, during 27.12.2003 - 4.1.2004. Holiday sales shopping should be in full speed then: can't wait to be elbowed by an overzealous British lady diving for something I don't want, but happen to be in the way of.

If there are any of my readers (fat chance, except for the not-so-mysterious-anymore "Silakka" :-), or JSPWiki users are out there, drop me a note and we'll have a beer or something.

(These are forced vacations: a lot of my hard-earned frequent flyer points are expiring, unless I use them for something. Oh well. I am not really complaining :-)

(And to the ladies at Tiramisu: I listen to almost everything you list. So yeah, I'm one of those people whose existence you doubt :-). Just as well: my English accent has been described as a mix of a drunken Aussie and Santa Claus. So I'm half alcoholic and half fairy tale.)

Wednesday, 01-Oct-03 00:26
The way we're gonna go

Forget terrorists. Forget aliens. Forget nuclear war. Forget big rocks falling from the sky.

We're gonna be killed by high-school students, eager to show off for science fairs:

Then there was the girl who concluded that she could modify the e.coli bacterium to make it more antibiotic-resistant. She had had access to a university biology lab, where the grad students had helped her run the necessary equipment.

I asked this student why she would even want to succeed at this goal, given that we all carry that particular bacterium in our gut. She said she just wanted to know. Okay, fair enough. I asked her if she was aware that the field of biology had refused to do that exact experiment for fear that the modified bacterium would escape into the wild and endanger us all. No, she wasn't aware of that.

When I asked her what she did with the resulting genetically modified e.coli, she replied, "Well, I knew that the e.coli colonies would be kind of dangerous, so I disposed of them by mailing them to another lab." That beats dumping the stuff down the train, but it's also yet another reason not to be a postal worker.

--Bob Colwell, p.15, April 2003 issue of Computer
Tuesday, 30-Sep-03 20:04
PTT

Had a very short discussion today with Russell Beattie, which consisted mostly of the words "hello", "woo-hoo", "can you hear me" and "it works". Nothing to write home about (or to blog about, certainly).

Except that we were doing it on 3650s over a GPRS connection, using Buzz2Talk. It's bloody expensive (but at least the cost is the same anywhere in the world :-), a pain in the ass to set up, unreliable, slow, unintuitive, but cool as hell - though in a way only a geek can really appreciate.

Read more from Russ's Notebook, and try it out. My # is 66511, if you want to try and call me.

/me gets warm technogeek-fuzzies :-).

Tuesday, 30-Sep-03 17:13
OK, worried now

(Via: Dan Gillmor, and #joiito.)

Monday, 29-Sep-03 18:45
The IMDB-fight

A quote from a discussion today on IRC:

18:28 <@Ecyrd> But I am no http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0164052/
18:29 <@Ecyrd> Hm. Tostahan voisi keksiä pelin...
18:29 <@Fallafel> Ecyrd, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099781/
18:29 <@Ecyrd> I am afraid you are http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0331648/
18:30 <@Fallafel> was that truly http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0218520/ ?
18:30 <@kijoe> sieltähän alkaa boonus oujee
18:30 <@Ecyrd> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032149/
18:31 <@Fallafel> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0368456/
18:31 <@Ecyrd> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0281304/
18:32 <@Fallafel> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0271882/
18:32 <@Fallafel> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0281523/
18:32 <@Ecyrd> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078346/
18:32 <@kijoe> rauhoittukaapas ny
18:33 <@Ecyrd> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0142410/
18:33 <@Fallafel> Ecyrd, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0263335/
18:34 <@Fallafel> no joo, tää ei ole oikein ihmisystävällinen tapa jutella :)
18:34 <@Ecyrd> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0269299/
18:34 <@Fallafel> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0260866/
18:34 < Gardan> imdb:n vois melkeen norettaa
18:34 <@Fallafel> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0286108/
18:35 <@kijoe> fallan ja ecyn vois vaikka potkaista ;)
18:35 <@Ecyrd> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0380825/
18:35 < Gardan> nii .. 4-5 ekaa oli vielä hauskavitsi
18:35 <@Fallafel> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049105/
18:36 <@kijoe> /kick fallafel
18:36 <@Fallafel> hähähä
18:36 <@Fallafel> ok, nyt lopetan
18:36 <@Ecyrd> http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0192311/
18:36 <@Ecyrd> Mäkin lopetan tähän =)

I call this "the IMDB-fight". Rules are simple:

  • Any sentence must contain at least one reference to the IMDB.
  • No sentence may contain over five words that are not references to IMDB.
  • The first person to take over a minute to respond on his turn loses, or responds in a way that is deemed by the other players not to be a sensible answer. (Or the one that is kicked off the channel first.)
Monday, 29-Sep-03 00:14
Oops

I accidentally killed my RSS feed during yesterday's software update. Sorry about that.

I used up all of my productivity today by first having a frenzied coding session in the morning, and then going to a cooking class (Japanese, of course. Yum.) By the evening I was in a completely unproductive state (but with a full stomach, mind you), and proved again the old axiom of "GMs being the worst players" during our role-playing session. There was an atmosphere of incoherence rarely seen, even in our games... :-) As an example:

Val (a temperamental lady) has just punched Richie in a surprising move.

Lucas (my character, temporarily turned into a dog and has thus a bit of a difficult expressing himself) asks Ritchie: "Rrough? Bite?"

Poor Ritchie hears this wrong and replies: "Yeah" and nods. The player (and thus, the character) actually thought I said "Alright?"

So, Lucas goes and attempts to take a big bite out of Val's leg (who was actually earlier on responsible for the loss of Lucas's left leg). Much chaos ensues.

Sunday, 28-Sep-03 02:14
Movie culture, Part II

The final movie of the Love and Anarchy 2003: Interstella 5555, which basically consists of four animated music videos of Daft Punk, which have been continued into an hour-long film. There's no dialogue at all in the film: the story is told through images and music - and surprisingly, it works. It's a bit uneven at times, and the music is a bit repetitive at times, but yeah: the story got me captivated and held me in its grip through to the end.

On a separate note, it seems that the 50,000 visit mark on this blog (and Merten's as well) is very near: about 650 to go, and at the current rate of 350 visits/day it should be broken in about two days. This is not counting those who read my blog directly through the RSS feed, which seems to comprise around ~50 people.

Who are you people?

Spambots hunting for addresses? Yuppies trying to find pictures of ugly people to point fingers and laugh at in a house party while drinking imported cider? Gorgeous young women who are desperately in love with me but do not dare to confess it? Geeks who sit at home on Saturday evening, coding open source in a desperate battle to score some more whuffie? Bored office workers clicking furiously with both hands in a vain attempt to find the end of the Internet? Friends? Foes? Friends-who-are-really-foes? Foes who just pretend to be friends-who-are-really-foes to protect me from the truth that everyone else is already possessed by aliens and that I am just a part of a reference group for scientific experiments?

Saturday, 27-Sep-03 22:33
Movie culture?

With my usual impeccable timing, I finally went to see the Future of Cinema-exhibition in Kiasma. Impeccable, because it's only open until tomorrow... Anyway, there were a couple of very nice pieces there (like the Alpha Wolf, where you can interact with beautifully animated wolves using sounds), but mostly I was put down by the lack of invention. You see, I used to dabble in 3D graphics, animation, synthetic characters, display systems, and multimedia while doing my thesis at the university, and frankly, I was amazed to see how ... ordinary the exhibits were.

Hey computer artists, you have these incredibly wonderful and powerful tools: learn to use them, will you? Make us laugh, weep, or ponder on deep things. Make us love you or hate you, I don't care. Just try to find some new ideas, ok? The movie and game industry are producing stuff that uses the media in far more inventive manners, and they are treating the computers as tools; they're constrained by budgets and schedules and are not really willing to do art for arts sake.

Or perhaps I've understood the whole thing wrong and the point of art is not exploration and expression? I'm just an engineer; I might well do just that, you know.

Saturday, 27-Sep-03 12:25
JSPWiki v2.2 goes alpha!

OK, so I've bit the bullet and made a first alpha release of the upcoming JSPWiki v2.2. It is a huge change with a large number of new features. Let's hope that in the future it won't take as long between releases... But it is now out there, ready to be tested by the screaming hordes. Again, don't use it in a production environment, because it will change.

I also release 2.0.52-stable for those who just need something they can actually trust to some degree...

Friday, 26-Sep-03 12:47
Ow!

No, I am not drunk, but this pic still seriously hurts my eyes.

In the spirit of Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, and the movies that I've seen this week, I wonder what kind of effects we could really do to people with pictures alone.

(Via Joi Ito)

Thursday, 25-Sep-03 23:47
Single life

I have not yet decided whether it's an advantage or a disadvantage of the single life to be able to come back home freely, at any time you like, to the sweet smell of the garbage bag you forgot to take out as you left for a two-day business trip.

Todays movie: Happiness of the Katakuris from Takashi Miike, which opens with an sequence where a woman finds an alien in her soup bowl, and then the said alien falls in love with her tonsils, ripping them out and flying away through the window only to be found by a crow, which eats the alien, and gets then consumed by a stuffed toy with a zipper for mouth.

And that's just the first 60 seconds. After that, it gets confusing.

This musical even contains a karaoke sequence, where the audience can join in on the song. I spent the last 30 minutes of the movie screaming, hoping it would stop.

However, the next movie, The Coast Guard from Kim Ki-Duk, a Korean director who is rapidly becoming one of my all-time favourites, does not disappoint again. It contains a couple of nice "Kim Ki-Duk moments" - one with barbed wire - and has the beauty of a Lamborghini and a Ferrari colliding in slow motion.

I still wonder what's the deal with the animals though...

Thursday, 25-Sep-03 00:02
It felt like a good idea at the time
  • Slept badly the past couple of nights? Check
  • All-day meeting? Check
  • Feeling tired? Check
  • Feeling relaxed after sauna? Check
  • All drunk after sauna? Check
  • Conference deadline coming up today? Check
  • Had no ideas until now? Check
  • Have a really good idea now? Check
  • Take 20 minutes to write a deep proposal? Check
  • Submit proposal? Check
  • Feel bad in the morning? To be decided
Wednesday, 24-Sep-03 07:33
Weirdosity

Ok, so I've been having these really strange flashbacks to Australia for the past couple of days, and who do I run into this morning? My boss from the time I was working there.

Maybe my subconscious is trying to tell me something...

Monday, 22-Sep-03 23:21
Кукушка

My only film today, a most delightful movie, Kukushka tells the story of three stranded people in Lapland during World War II.

What luck! Seeing two good movies in as many days. It really makes you forget all of the bad stuff.

Monday, 22-Sep-03 13:33
Word-du-jour

I heard a good word: Impression Management Strategy. Yup. It's not only for corporations anymore. What you thought to be your "style", or "thing" is actually just the way you have built your Impression Management Strategy.

My Impression Management Strategy is mostly this weblog. Every single aspect of it has been carefully designed, measured, balanced, and subjected to test groups, starting from the URL of the site. Every day, my underlings watch how a reader comes to the website, how long he spends there, and where he goes after that. All of my readers have been painstakingly profiled, analyzed, and categorized, so that I can offer just the right content for You(tm).

Not.

Yet.

Tools like Technorati, blogstreet, LinkedIn, BlogShares, and even your friendly neighbourhood web server log file analyzer give us a chance to dig deeper into the social networks that our blogs create. They are in the frontline of our Impression Management. And I believe they will have a strong role to play in our future. Not perhaps the current tools: so far they are merely toys, good keeping us amused for a short while, and playing grounds for testing new concepts.

But eventually, our social life will be technology-bound. It has already distanced itself from location (While walking on the street, I talk regularly to people I see rarely in real life: like relatives who live far away) thanks to the Internet and cell phones. There are people whom I have never met, but through my blog know intimate things about my life. Air travel allows you to meet friends that live far across the globe, and bashing bad American TV shows is an universal pastime.

The question is, how far can we go? Can we leave our impression management to computers who through profiling know exactly what the other person wants to see or hear? How about a video phone that changes your appearance and sound level to be more pleasing to the caller? How about a computer that sits on your shoulder, identifies the person who you are talking with and whispers in your ear so that you can say Just The Right Words? Cyrano de Bergerac would be envious...

We already filter out things from our weblogs, modify the truth so that it is more pleasing, or more jarring, but in general tuned more to conform to the view of the reality that we hold ourselves. There's not a big step left to take anymore.

Transparent Society, here we come.

Sunday, 21-Sep-03 20:20
Ynghldb

Two more movies today. The Five Seasons from Kim Ki-duk didn't disappoint, as was to be expected: This visual and beautiful tale contains little dialogue, but a whole lot of charisma. I try not to miss any movies from Sabu after the hilarious Postman's Blues, but this year's Drive felt a bit patched-togetherish. Though it made me realize that Buddhism and punk rock have surprisingly lot in common.

I guess I was a bit too conditioned already by Kim Ki-duk's previous films. The opening shot with a beautiful Korean lake and a floating house made me suddenly cringe, and later on a simple shot of a fish swimming happily in a stream got me grinding my teeth in anticipation. Those who have seen The Isle know why. But while it still shows that Mr. Ki-duk has a very... brutal view of human relationships, it is an excellent movie. Yup. /me like.

Sunday, 21-Sep-03 10:10
Three more movies

Saw three more movies yesterday: Cowboy Bebop, a decent Japanese animation detective story, Noí Albinoi, an Icelandic film about a too smart guy in a dumb, remote village in Iceland and Infernal Affairs, a Hong Kong action flick.

One thing that I really, really like about movies in these film festivals is that they treat the viewer as an intelligent being instead of a consumer whose reactions can be calculated (like your typical Hollywood summer movie). And the endings for all of the movies were certainly something you wouldn't expect or foresee. In fact, when asked why the movie ended the way it did, the director of Noí Albinoi answered: "Well, I kinda had to finish it at some point."

The other surprising thing how the gas station bar culture ("huoltoasemaolutbaarikulttuuri" in Finnish) is so much alike in Iceland and Finland :-).

Saturday, 20-Sep-03 13:02
Movies galore

Love and Anarchy 2003 is now at full speed. Yesterday I saw Takeshi Kitano's Dolls (Dooruzu), which I figured must've been the weird movie of the week.

Until I saw Resurrection of the Little Match Girl by Sun-Woo Jang. The movie tells the story of a guy who gets caught up in a game where you have to make sure that the little match girl (by HC Andersen, well, something close to it anyway) dies happily by freezing to death, high on butane.

Suffice to say that any movie in which office workers get slaughered to the tune of "Like a Fool" by Nylon Beat can't be all bad. It's a very defining moment to the Finnish national pride when familiar pop music starts playing in the background while a disgruntled chinese food deliveryman empties clip after clip of 9mm submachinegun ammunition into screaming white-collar workers, and the entire movie theater is roaring with laughter.

Friday, 19-Sep-03 17:43
Wiki-tidbit of the day

In the Finnish language, it is possible to conjugate the word "wiki" as "wikistä", which essentially means "to whine".

It is no surprise that on some Finnish wikis this term has found wide-spread usage, and is sometimes practically synonymous to "writing stuff on the wiki".

Good weekend.

Update: Well, yes, it can also mean "to squeak" (as in what mice do). But I guess it's the same thing in this case :-)

Thursday, 18-Sep-03 23:08
Sorry, guys

No, I ain't taking part in this meme (Finnish only, I'm sorry). Nope. No. No sirree. Ain't gonna happen. Nah. No way. Wild horses couldn't make me do it. Never. Forget it. Not gonna do it. Negative. Not bloody likely. Nope said pope. You're not going to get a name from me. No.

(...must...resist...meme...)

Thursday, 18-Sep-03 17:21
Blog spammer?

Matt may have met a spammer that leaves advertisements on blog comments...

I guess it's just a matter of time before this kind of stuff actually gets automated and systematically abused. Especially big platforms like MovableType may be susceptible, since their platform works the same way everywhere. While blogs are in itself immune to this (just don't leak out your Blogger password) due to the pull model used, their comments most certainly are not.

Shudder.

Thursday, 18-Sep-03 11:03
How to win in on-line role-playing games

Simple. Build a bot:

The Autocamp 2000 plays online RPGs with the following rules:
  1. Join any group that invites you
  2. When in a group, follow behind the leader
  3. Attack any monster you see
  4. Accept all trade requests from other players, then give them a melon

The Autocamp 2000 talks to other players with following rules:

  1. If someone says something ending in a question mark, respond by saying "Dude?"
  2. If someone says something ending in an exclamation point, respond by saying "Dude!"
  3. If someone says something ending with a period, respond by randomly saying one of three things: "Okie," "Sure," or "Right on."
  4. EXCEPTION: If someone says something directly to you by mentioning your name, respond by saying "Lag." The many succinct expressions of the Autocamp 2000.
  5. (And remember to accept all trade requests from other players by giving them a melon.)

(Thanks to Henri for this wonderful story. The transcripts are hilarious!)

Wednesday, 17-Sep-03 19:39
My First Time

Today, for the first time ever, I put someone on my kill/ignore file. I've been on the IRC and Usenet since 1989, and never before have I had to resort to such extreme measures, despite having been through (and probably started) several flame wars.

Not today.

The signs were obvious: latching onto your words, seeking confontration, finding anything derogatory from everything that is known about you (and on IRC, it's not much), dissing, foul words... Yup, it's a genuine, boda-fide troll, a delightful gnome that wants just to annoy people.

This time, I just *plonk*ed him, after only a few minutes of the crap he (it?) was spewing.

I think this is an important feature of all social tools - on USENET you have kill files, on IRC/IM you have ignore lists, with email you have email filters, and with weblogs you just don't subscribe to their feeds. The weblog way is the best methinks, since you choose what you want to see, whereas with the other tools you choose what you don't want to see.

Actually, this raises the question whether attempts such as ThreadsML are really helping, since they will bring the USENET model of communication into weblog world, and it makes a bit harder to ignore the creeps. Hm. Must ponder on this.

Wednesday, 17-Sep-03 12:31
OK, so I ain't that extreme

Merten seems to be a bit more left-wing libertarian than me.

Your political compass: Economic Left/Right: -5.62 Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.92

Where does your political compass point?

Tuesday, 16-Sep-03 21:27
Nutty clock

OK, here's a nutty clock.

Tuesday, 16-Sep-03 19:07
What does a blog that has no readers look like?

Whoo, lot's of stuff happening right now. Everybody is raving over misspellings, Apple's new Powerbooks, or Verisign gone evil. (In fact, I am too, but I'm too late to even simulate saying something that has not already been said.)

Instead, I'll blog about blogging (the safe and sure choice).

There was a party on Saturday, and someone asked me if it's okay to ask about stuff that I blog, and said that reading my blog feels like peeking into my private life, as if doing something dirty or forbidden. I said "no, of course it's okay to ask since I wouldn't write it publically if I didn't want it to be read", but later on that seems like too easy an answer.

A blog isn't exactly a diary, even though the Finnish word we use "verkkopäiväkirja" or "network diary" implies it. A diary is a place where you put your thoughts for yourself; but a blog is really a two-way street. While some blogs are completely diary-like, most do encourage communication with the author in the form of comments or email - and you can always talk about other blogs in your own blog and use permalinks to refer to them. It also seems that most bloggers do like to talk about their blogs, what they have blogged, and other blogs as well. Part of it surely comes from the hype-syndrome, "'cos it's cool to talk about weblogging", but I don't think that's completely it. I never met an artist who didn't like to talk about their work, and most bloggers have a need for self-expression that borderlines on artistic will, if not quality :-).

So, in fact, blogs are really discussions, albeit discussions dominated by one person or group (and thus completely non-democratic). Blogs don't exist in a vacuum; they must have readers: "What does a blog that has no readers look like?", to paraphrase an old Zen koan. And so using the word "diary" to describe them is not quite correct, even though they can be sometimes deceptively diary-like in appearance.

(To Mindy: How about "Hei, oikeesti oon ihan normaali." :-)

Sunday, 14-Sep-03 23:45
Short JSPWiki update

I've managed to fix (hopefully anyway) a couple of age-old problems relating to the "match english plurals" -option. At least all of the tests run.

I also fixed a couple of authentication-related problems; it seems now that everything works except groups. Slowly, slowly...

On a tangent: The development was halted today for a few hours, as I was seriously contemplating throwing my computer out of the window, and just simply give it all up.

The reason was that I tried to upgrade my Debian installation to work natively with UTF-8, which created some really serious and non-obvious issues: for example, the only somewhat functional possible locale is en_US.UTF-8 - NOT fi_FI.UTF-8, or any combination thereof.

Another reason was that this simple JUnit test ceased to work:

        String src = "abcåäö";
        String res = new String( src.getBytes("ISO-8859-1"), "ISO-8859-1" );
        assertEquals( src, res );

You see, according to all possible specifications this should work regardless of the encoding system. But no.

The cure? Load the file in editor, save it. No changes. Just save it.

I have no idea whatsoever what was happening. But it took me hours to figure out, a few reboots (yes, I was that desperate), and at some point I was considering reinstalling Java, or getting rid of Debian altogether. OK, my own fault for running the unstable distribution, but still... My guess is that for some reason, Java started to interpret the file encoding system differently, as it uses the native system encoding. But what I don't understand is that when I reverted to the earlier configuration, it failed again.

Gah. This stuff is getting more and more complicated year-by-year. Or I am getting more stupid. Could be both.

Saturday, 13-Sep-03 15:39
Wanna buy evil?

OK, now I found myself a place to shop. No, it ain't Sharper Image, but VillainSupply.com - Your Online Source For Everything Evil!

You can go real cheap, and start off with an used Al-Qaeda lair for just $18.50 a month, and the world's deadliest shaving kit and upgrade slowly to lunar mass driver and the newest from World Domination Technologies: The WDT Body Mecha Deluxe.

Being evil has never been this easy!

*grin*

Saturday, 13-Sep-03 11:49
Family values and names

Merten ponders on family and genealogy (but in Finnish).

In the Jalkanen family - and to make things more confusing, there are in fact three different lineages using the name Jalkanen, all from different parts of Finland - there have been two previous persons named "Janne". The other one is two years older than me, and also an engineer from the Helsinki University of Technology.

The other Janne was last seen in 1913, leaving to sell some horses in Russia.

I'm so glad I chose engineering over economy.

Thursday, 11-Sep-03 17:47
HIFF

To my utter surprise, there was practically no queue yesterday for the Helsinki International Film Festival tickets! Last year, I remember standing in line for several hours, enduring "witty" comments from drunken fellow Finns who were unable to comprehend that yes, some people really like to see good films.

Of course, I got there a bit late, and one of the movies I was anticipating had already been sold out. The first that's ever happened, too...

Anyway, as an experiment I am going to put them online here, so if you happen to be in the same showing, come and say Hi.

This is my current list of movies I am going to watch at the Helsinki International Film Festival 2003.

19.9.

  • 21.00 Andorra 1 Takeshi Kitano: Dolls
  • 23.30 Bio Rex Jang Sun-woo: Resurrection of the Little Match Girl

20.9.

  • 14.00 Bio Rex Watanabe & Okiura:Cowboy Bepop
  • 16.30 Bio Rex Dakur Kari: Noí Albinoi
  • 19.00 Bio Rex Lau & Mak: Infernal Affairs

21.9.

  • 12.00 Bio Rex Kim Ki-duk: Five Seasons
  • 14.15 Kino Engel 2 Sabu: Drive

22.9

  • 18.30 Bio Rex Alexander Rogozhkin: Käki

25.9

  • 18.30 Andorra 2 Miike Takashi: The Happiness of Katakuris
  • 21.00 Andorra 1 Kim Ki-duk: The Coast Guard

(BTW, all of the layout above is done with CSS, so if your browser breaks, let me know. I'm slowly getting the hang of it...)

Update: It seems that IE simply refuses to show it as a two-column list (which is fine, at least you can read it), but Konqueror (and thus, presumably, Safari) dies horribly.

Thursday, 11-Sep-03 12:23
OMG LOLOL

let me piss u off I guess this is one way to combine IRC and blogging...

(Through Les.)

Thursday, 11-Sep-03 12:19
Blog portal

The dreaded word "portal" made another appearance yesterday at the blogit.fi meeting. For some really strange reason I promised to contribute regularly to the upcoming Finnish blog service... I must check my medication again.

On a separate note, my condolences to all Swedes reading this blog. The tragedy is felt strongly here, too.

Thursday, 11-Sep-03 12:01
Go, Linus

This is why this guy is a geek hero - not only because of starting off Linux, but also because of his sense of humour: Linus Torvald's response to SCO's open letter.

However, we have to sadly decline taking business model advice from a company that seems to have squandered all its money (that it made off a Linux IPO, I might add, since there's a nice bit of irony there), and now seems to play the U.S. legal system as a lottery.

(Through Erik, the überlinker.)

Update: I just realized: the advertisement on Linus's message advertises Windows Small Business Server 2003. A coincidence? :-)

Tuesday, 09-Sep-03 12:31
RSS weather

Visa points out RSSWeather.com, which allows you to get weather forecasts as RSS feeds.

Yay! Another good use for RSS!

Tuesday, 09-Sep-03 00:59
Why all APIs are not equal

People ask the question: why is the MetaWeblogAPI (MWA for short) not sufficient for wikis as such?

I guess it's possible up to a certain extent, but there are a few reasons why I think it's still a bad idea:

  • Versioning. Supporting the versioning inherent in many Wikis would need a new field to be added in the MWA getPost().
  • getPost() does not define in which format the page should be returned (WikiMarkup, HTML or something else). Again, a new field is required.
  • A method to get the links from a page is highly useful for things like the JSPWiki:TouchGraphWikiBrowser. Wikis inherently refer to themselves much more than weblogs, so it's only natural to reflect this in the API as well.
  • Forward and backward links are a bit of a problem as well: In order to do other things like basic edit/view, you would need to be pretty good at guessing the format of the URLs as they come in the rendered HTML. This is why there's the href -field in the WikiRPCInterface.listLinks(), btw. For an example of this in action, see http://www.mahlen.org/jspwiki.
  • There is no way to download attachments. While there's a way of uploading using the MWA newMediaObject(), there's no corresponding getMediaObject().

If the getPost() would have a struct as one of its parameters, then some of the above things would not be a problem, since you can pretty much add arbitrary fields to a struct without breaking existing apps. However, this is not the case, and you would need to embed the version number in the "blogid" parameter. This is clearly a kludge, and very, very fragile.

Don't get me wrong; I'm all for interop and stuff. And frankly, there's no reason why a wiki shouldn't support a MetaWeblogAPI as well (JSPWiki does), but I think that in order to gain the most out of a Wiki, you need an API designed for the strengths of wiki technology and does not treat it as a bastard offshoot of weblogs :-).

Monday, 08-Sep-03 15:45
SCO sales is not authorized to sell Linux license

Well, considering all the armwaving and threats, it seems that SCO sales department simply is unable to sell you a license to use Linux. M. Drew Streib attempted to buy a license, and this is the result:

I called them again today, and a salesperson, beginning with "I don't know quite how to explain this", let me know that there wasn't a product manager for Linux licenses, and that there wasn't currently a way for salespeople to sell these licenses. They were frustrated, too.

Heh. So, apparently nobody has bought a license - for the simple reason that it is impossible to buy them. :-)

Saturday, 06-Sep-03 16:59
Tourism

Sometimes it's cool to walk in your home town like you were a tourist. I'm eating a late take away lunch on the Senate Square Church steps, enjoying the sun and the lazy Saturday afternoon.

Saturday, 06-Sep-03 12:03
Tech brief

Don picked up my posting on yawning, and also seems to be involved in a discussion about Wiki APIs.

First, a short explanation on the tech behind this weblog: This is an instance of JSPWiki, where each entry is a separate WikiPage. The Main page aggregates then all of the pages which have a certain signature in their name onto the front page, producing the weblog you see right now. This allows cool stuff like doing collection pages, such as Ropecon2003, or EGC2003, where I just insert a string like [{WeblogPlugin startDate='310103' days='31'}] to get all of the entries from January 2003, for example.

JSPWiki (and thus, this weblog) support the XML-RPC Wiki API, as well as the MetaWeblogAPI. The support for the latter is not complete, but it is quite enough so that I can moblog from my cell phone. What happens is that I basically send an email to a predefined address, where a custom script takes the email, parses it and posts it to the weblog using the said MetaWeblog API. The script is smart enough to take the attachments from the email and modify the entry so that they are properly inserted in the text. Of course, I have to write my entry using WikiMarkup, but trust me, it is far easier to do on a cell phone than HTML!

Yes, all Wikis use different markup rules - but actually, that's not really a big problem. So far, the biggest use of the WikiRPCInterface has been adding functionality into JSPWiki itself - a machine halfway across the world uses it to check up what has happened on the JSPWiki main site, and sends email to everyone who has subscribed to it. This is a highly important thing - I did not have to implement that by myself; I just implemented an API and someone else wrote it (thanks Mahlen!). This is really no different from writing a proper, plugin-based architecture for a Wiki, except that the external developer is no longer bound to Java, or Perl, or Python, or PHP, or whatever language the lead developer of the wiki decided to use. In essence, it allows you to write simple plugins and do batch processing on a Wiki without having to understand its internal implementation!

In fact, defining a standard markup language for Wikis (such as WikiML) should work well with this kind of an XML-RPC/SOAP API approach: just add another method that gets the text in WikiML instead of rendered HTML/WikiMarkup. It does not matter what markup the wikis themselves use.

I also believe that Wikis will converge slowly. It seems to me that MoinMoin style markup is winning, and with the stuff like Radeox from the SnipSnap folks, you can separate the rendering of the markup from the WikiEngine itself, making it largely irrelevant what markup people use, since you can just plug in the markup you want to use.

However, there will always be differences in markup. You see, doing stuff like complex TWiki markup just is out of the reach of the smaller players, and since making a basic wiki is really easy, people are not going to bother to use the same markup. They might adopt some common practices, but some wikis need stuff like syntax highlighting, and others will need direct drawing on page, etc... In the end, the one and only solution is to get rid of the markup altogether, and make a WYSIWYG wiki - sort of a distributed version of MS Word.

Phew. There is already a Wiki API standard, but so far not too many seem to have adopted it. I would very much like to see discussion what is needed, what is too much, and how to make it better.

Saturday, 06-Sep-03 11:23
Milk and cookies

Yesterday was a good day; I got a packet from Australia containing (among other things) genuine ANZAC bisquits, stuff that I got seriously addicted on while I was living down under. I plan to spend a night with a good book, a glass of milk and a huge pile of cookies... Woo-hoo!

Also, I managed to beat my teacher at go with five stones handicap, and got a promotion to 4 kyu. Which was kinda surprising because I was very tired yesterday evening, and I haven't really been feeling much up to playing for the last few days. I've barely managed to rack up about as many games since the EGC 2003 than I had in the actual tournament.

I also had a good lunch talk; and got an email of the best kind. By the end of the evening, the cliché "tired but happy" was as good choice of words as any.

Friday, 05-Sep-03 18:20
Logo for JSPWiki
Oo, Ebu drew a nice logo for JSPWiki. Thanks!

We've been looking for one for a while... And this one struck me personally because of the go imagery.

Now we just wait for someone to make us a better-looking default template...

Friday, 05-Sep-03 16:36
What a boring test

Even though I am a trained physicist, this I found just utterly stupid.

What kind of a subatomic particle are you? Neutron -- You don't take sides, you just sort of hang out and blend into the crowd. If someone lets you loose though, you can cause some serious damage. If you are arround too many other neutrons you get bored and start to decay.

(As usual, via Merten)

Friday, 05-Sep-03 15:14
Twenty questions

OK, so the meme sticks. Thanks to Merten and Visa, I feel now strangely compelled to describe myself using inappropriate musical terms.

In this exercise, you are supposed to answer the following questions using song titles from a single artist. I have chosen Kylie Minogue.

1. Are you male or female?

"Cowboy Style"

2. Describe yourself:

"Spinning Around"
"I'm so high"
"Dangerous game"

3. How do some people feel about you?

"Confide In Me"
"Koocachoo"
"In Denial"

4. How do you feel about yourself?

"Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi"
"Never Too Late"
"Give Me Just A Little More Time"
"Live And Learn"

5. Describe your boy/girlfriend.

"Bittersweet Goodbye"
"The world still turns"

6. Where would you rather be?

"Right Here, Right Now"
"Step Back In Time"
"Celebration"

7. Describe what you want to be.

"Free"
"Drunk" (Hey, it's Friday afternoon as I'm writing this :-)

8. Describe how you live.

"I Should Be So Lucky"
"Heaven And Earth"

9. Describe how you love.

"The Locomotion"
"Finer Feelings"

10. Share a few words of wisdom.

"Your Disco Needs You"
"Breathe"
"Turn It Into Love"

Wednesday, 03-Sep-03 18:41
Films galore

The Helsinki Film Festival has opened its website: movies, timetables, etc - it's all there.

My keen sense of prediction feels two weeks of sleepless nights coming up...

(Has it really been a year since I turned single? Gah. I also predict a wave of self-pity and loathing. Crap.)

Tuesday, 02-Sep-03 22:36
This man is officially cool

I happened to hang in #joiito, and mention that I would need a GNU ~ChangeLog to RSS converter and what happens?

Les Orchard whips up one for me in a couple of hours.

How cool is that?

Tuesday, 02-Sep-03 15:37
"But officer, how did you find me!?!"

The Register: Doh! Man steals GPS tracking device, used to monitor criminals on probation.

Tuesday, 02-Sep-03 15:11
I won!

Click on the image to view evidence.
The Google Dance has started again, notes Russell, AND I'M #1 JANNE! Woo-hoo! Take that, you obscure Japanese band, or the equally obscure Swedish band!

The sounds you are hearing are the shuffle of your hair from your vigorous headshake, a sigh emerging from your mouth, and the click of the mouse as you hit the "Back" -button.

Well. At least I'm #1 on one of the Google servers at some point of the dance =).

Tuesday, 02-Sep-03 11:57
Software patents, tiny delay

The vote has been delayed, reports Slashdot. I think the effort of some very prominent sites such as Apache Software Foundation may have brought the issue to the common public. Let's hope the MEPs see the light. It seems that at least Matti Wuori, a Finnish Green MEP, agrees with EFFI. (Thanks to Ville for letting us know.)

I rewrote the script on jspwiki.org to display the notice to everyone not coming from the jspwiki.org domain, so each visitor should now see it at least once.

Monday, 01-Sep-03 22:57
Ropecon revisited
If you're an industry pro, there are worse things you could do today than send your CV to the RopeCon folks and beg to be invited as a ~GoH at the next available opportunity.

Our Guest of Honor, Jonathan Tweet, has updated his own diary about his trip to the Ropecon 2003. He seems quite happy :-).

Saturday, 30-Aug-03 23:37
HooKooBlooMaki or why Japanese and Finnish cuisine do not mix

The cautionary tale is now available. Another triumph to science!

(Had a very nice dinner tonight, though we had too much food. Seems to always happen - I really bad at estimating amounts when there are more than two people involved. I like cooking for friends; then I get to try and experiment with different things, and I don't have to do the dishes :-)

Friday, 29-Aug-03 17:14
jspwiki.org closed

I've closed jspwiki.org as a protest. Full explanation on the site.

Thursday, 28-Aug-03 11:56
YAWN
11:49  * DonPark YAWNS.
11:48  * Ecyrd haukottelee

OK, here's something cool I just noticed. If someone announces on an IRC channel that they are yawning, it actually spreads to other people on the channel as well. I mean, I understand if you put up a picture of a yawn, the visual cues can get you yawning, but through text? Is the intention truly enough? Do we really want to be so desperately a part of a crowd? (Well, obviously this works only on some people, but that it works at all is amazing :-)

Yawning has amazing power. We truly are social creatures.

(And BTW, if this entry made you yawn, drop a comment =).

Wednesday, 27-Aug-03 22:03
RSS for the masses

(First of all, nntp//rss rules. I've never been so happy with an RSS aggregator. It's a bit geeky, but it really works well for a heavy user such as myself.)

I've been sending some emails to different Finnish news services to request RSSFeeds from them. If you're a Finnish RSS user, send them some mail as well - <dream>perhaps we can in the near future receive news in Finnish using our favourite RSS aggregator... </dream>

Why? After deleting the 1773 spam messages from my spam folder (21 days worth - thank you, SpamAssassin), I'm rather inclined to agree with people who say that email is dying, and we need something better. I also found this excellent RSS primer for publishers and content producers, which does explain rather nicely what RSS is and why we should care.

Wednesday, 27-Aug-03 17:28
LOAF

As for new internet standards, LOAF is possibly the most promising one. I cannot believe this innovation has not been made earlier, since it just makes the life of all weblog authors and platform builders so much easier! I can't wait - like Britta, and Joi Ito - for the LOAF standard to be finalized. Much like Atom project shows the power of WikiWikis, LOAF shows the power of IRC.

Obviously, JSPWiki will be one of the first to support LOAF, once it hits beta.

Wednesday, 27-Aug-03 13:59
Lenny Bruce
"I took exception. I took offense," [police officer] Solden told Bruce. "We've tried to elevate this street. I'm offended because you broke the law. I mean it sincerely. I mean it. I can't see any right, any way you can break this word down, our society is not geared to it."

Bruce said, "You break it down by talking about it ... How about a word like 'clap'?"

"Well, 'clap' is a better word than 'cocksucker,'" Solden replied.

"Not if you get the clap from a cocksucker," Bruce rejoined.

Salon has this cool story about a comedian who got into trouble for saying obscenities, and how the U.S. Supreme Court rulings are being used to suppress anything someone might find "obscene". Read the story in Salon. (Through Wil Wheaton.)

Tuesday, 26-Aug-03 18:40
Mars

OK guys, calm down about the Mars thing already. I know it's close to Earth, but still, it's not like this is the only time you can ever view it. Especially here in Northern Europe, you can see it much better later on when it climbs up in the sky: at the moment it is so low that any bonus given by the distance is compensated for by the low elevation and pollution.

However, it reminds me of one thing: The Czech government has issued a law against light pollution (space.com story is good, too, the law text is here), which I think is a really good idea.

From June, the authorities will be required to shield lamp-post lights and other public illumination to control the spread of light, and use flat rather than curved-belly glass to prevent light shooting upwards and sideways. Teams of astronomers will work with energy conservationists, lighting engineers and the public to limit the amount of 'wasted' light. Advertising billboards will have to be lit from above, with their lights pointing downwards.

The law is not only a good idea because of the diminished light pollution, but also because it just does not make any sense to light the night sky - nobody save a few astronauts and pilots are enjoying the view anyway. We can save a lot of energy by pointing our lights downwards... Actually, I think that a similar kind of law has been passed around in the Finnish parliament as well, but so far it has not actualized.

But anyway, if gazing at Mars makes you happy now, then don't forget to take a look at the other wonders of the universe from time to time as well.

Monday, 25-Aug-03 08:59
Ropecon revisited

I made a page of all the entries I made during Ropecon 2003 for your easy consumption. I haven't yet sorted through all of the pictures I took, so for them you'll have to wait a bit more.

Sunday, 24-Aug-03 13:53
Gastronomy

I'm enjoying -if that is the right word - this plate of vietnamese deep fried pork on the Joensuu market place. It's got far more deep fry than pork, but the rice is okay though.

There's a flea market here, too. Can't say it's terribly exciting - and it pains me to see how some salesman are exposing their books to rain.

Saturday, 23-Aug-03 15:45
The Finnish summer...

...is short but luckily there is usually only little snow.

This particular patch is in Joensuu, where my brother is getting married today.

Friday, 22-Aug-03 22:44
Fears

You know, even at my age it still stirs some deep childhood fears when you arrive at your parents' place, the same place you grew up, and nobody is at the station to meet you. Even though they said they would...

Oh well. A walk probably does some good anyway after three hours in the train.

(I seem to be getting rather proficient at the 3650 keyboard these days: now I can actually blog as I walk!)

Thursday, 21-Aug-03 15:41
Connectedness of Finnish blogs

I've mentioned this before, but the subject came up yesterday at the blog meeting.

I'm a Finn but I write this blog in English. That's fine, no worries, but it keeps me quite separate from the Finnish blog community. Obviously, since a big part of my readership seems to come from abroad, I cannot easily comment on the writings that my fellow Finnish bloggers produce - they would not be able to read the original articles! So I would have to recap the discussion in English, and that is just a bit too much to ask.

On the other hand, the Finnish blogosphere is rather small, about 400 blogs, and as such a lot of the discussions (such as the ubiquitous ATM discussion, or the "market value theory" -discussion - trust me, you don't want to know about these) tend to revolve around the same issues and the same people, which pretty easily makes them personal. And such conversations are probably better kept within the Finns anyway, and a lot of us don't read them either. In a way, I am relieved that I have this very good excuse not to take part in them.

However, there are also some very good writers, interesting opinions, and - sometimes - deep insights. Few of the foreign people can read these - but we can read all of the good stuff English-speaking people produce! Nyah, nyah!

I don't know if this is a real problem - it certainly is not a problem to Finnish bloggers; only perhaps to some who hang there, inbetween, like me. But it certainly makes me different; not quite fluent enough in English to write interestingly, but not really willing to write in Finnish either... Then again, it would be really boring if we all blogged in Finnish, because then our part of the blogosphere would be completely shut to the world. Now at least some people can get a bit of insight into what is happening here, even though the English of most writers is not perfect. It's all in the interest of world peace and understanding :-).

Thursday, 21-Aug-03 03:08
Sauna, and more sauna

Today, I've mostly spent my time in saunas. All kinds of saunas, from electric to an authentic smoke sauna, six times over. Which is not really a very bad way of spending your day, you know. It certainly beats making Powerpoint presentations.

Justin came and managed to draw together probably the largest Finnish blogger convention ever. Which was fun. It was interesting to meet the people behind the blogs - some were quiet, some less so. But nevertheless, every blogger there brought an interesting aura of self-confidence: they all had a good grasp on who they are and what they want. I felt that these people had much less to hide or fear than your average gathering of people who have never met; there was little of the usual power-games of the "I know more/can do more/look better than you" -variety. I had all the time a feeling that these are the people who hold power, and know how to use it. I didn't really dare to moblog anything from the meeting, even though Ville did probably snap a picture of me I will regret when I am rich and famous... :-)

(For my non-Finnish readers, the following contains nothing of interest: Niin, Saunabar laskutti meiltä jokaisesta nokkansa pukutiloihin pistäneeltä 5€ + 25€ könttäsumma saunasta, joten jos tunnette omantunnon syvän pistoksen sydämessänne niin ottakaa yhteyttä ja heittäkää geneeriseen suuntaani noin 7.5€, tahi kuvitelkaa tarjoavanne minulle joskus pari olutta, jos jossain hypoteettisessa tulevaisuudessa törmäämme uudestaan. Kiitos. :-)

Wednesday, 20-Aug-03 19:13
The Feature does not have The Feature

So, TheFeature launches their new website with much commotion. They are now very weblog, slashdot, hip and trendy. They bring in Justin Hall and a bunch of other celebrities.

But they forget the key glue that is holding the weblog world together - the single most important thing that has risen from the weblog world, something that is powerful enough to fight about.

RSS.

There is no RSS feed on the site. And no, you can't really be "hip" and "cool" if you do not offer an RSS feed anymore. Neither can you claim to be "on the edge" either...

Tuesday, 19-Aug-03 18:42
Oops

I've got a ~BlogBlock. Can't think of anything to say over here, even though I've been blogging like crazy to my other blogs (and let that be the mystery of the day).

Monday, 18-Aug-03 12:55
Another example of IRC integration (and a thought on immortality)

Joi Ito writes:

Brendyn has created a page that lists the online/offline status from jibot as titles and links to all of the recent blog entries of the regulars on #joiito from their RSS feeds. Very cool!

I think you can view the IM status information, NowPlaying-lists and blogs as the opposite ends of one big axis called "presence". At the other end, you have these automatically updated things that show a small piece of your persona, and at the other end, you have complex, manually updated, annotated, verbose descriptions about your persona. But in a way, they both announce your presence and existence to the world: "I am here! I do this! I like that!"

We all want to live forever, I guess, and bloggers more than others.

Alastair Reynolds writes in his book "Revelation Space" about so-called "beta"-level computer simulations, that grow by watching your reactions and responses over decades, and when you finally die, the computer simulations continue to preserve your persona and knowledge for the posterity.

Most of the stuff we put on-line is being archived by Google and Internet Archive, and probably by hundreds of other sites as well. In theory, armed with sophisticated algorithms, and a life-long archive of blog posts, you might be able to construct an artificial personality of any blogger. Not that it would be close to the real thing, as people tend to write about their idealized self-image, but perhaps it might be convincing enough to be used for things.

It's not really that sci-fi either: I remember seeing an Albert Einstein simulation at CMU, which basically consisted of a natural-language recognition system and a huge archive of answers read by an actor masked as Mr. Einstein. The illusion, while far from perfect, was still jaw-dropping in 1999. (They have 4-5 year old web-demos available; go ahead and try them out.)

Monday, 18-Aug-03 12:24
OK, now this is not funny

Power Rangers Movie!
Which movie do you belong in?

Link through Merten, who at least got a cool movie. Is there a better way to start off a Monday morning than be told that you should really be living in a world where violence is the answer to everything (properly applied and administered, of course), and where you can gain cool powers just by dressing in plastic and striking funny poses? Not to mention being able to combine yourself with similarly dressed weirdos to gain even cooler powers? To be the idol of pre-schoolers?

Unh. Perhaps I am reading far too much into this...

Sunday, 17-Aug-03 12:45
Saunablogging!

In a bachelor party one gets these stupid ideas. Like blogging live from the sauna. Oops, gotta go before phone dies...

Sunday, 17-Aug-03 10:03
Traveling in Finland

Here's something I didn't know: You can buy cell phones at gas stations these days.

Also, a Finnish hamburger chain is now a cell phone operator, too.

Who needs ubiquitous computing? We got it right here...

(I've driven roughly 1000 km during the past 24 hours in order to attend both a wedding and a bachelor party. Summer weekends are very busy. Blech.)

Friday, 15-Aug-03 13:21
Blackout moblog

OK, so there's a blackout on the East Coast of USA. What happens?

Someone makes a moblog, where people can send their images of the blackout, documenting the whole thing in real time.

I can only expect this kind of stuff to happen more and more in the future. Not blackouts, but people becoming reporters spontaneously. It is a powerful concept... And far more real time and interesting than what the major media can do. Unfortunately, it also means more noise; and thus should be subjected to some editing. But it is a powerful concept nonetheless.

(Via Jeremy Zawodny).

Thursday, 14-Aug-03 14:34
Penthouse Goes Bankrupt, Americans Fleeing To Canada and Europe

Nice ring to a headline, isn't it? If USA were source code, I would certainly qualify the following news items as a bad smell.

  • Penthouse files for Chapter 11 protection: Penthouse's circulation has dropped dramatically - down from a peak of 5 million copies to just 530,000 in December.
  • Lawrence Lessig: So when people occasionally recognize me getting the magic metal detector wanding and dutifully submitting to searches of my person, extending my arms and my legs spread-eagle, I explain with a smile, “I’m running against George Bush.”
  • CNN: Dismayed Americans Contemplate Canada: "For me, it's a no-brainer"
  • Freenet developer Ian Clarke leaving USA: As an Irish citizen living in the US - I have decided that it is time to leave this country - it is starting to look, smell, and act as Germany did during the 1930s.

(Via a multitude of blogs, some of which I already lost.)

Thursday, 14-Aug-03 10:30
Email is broken

Joichi Ito says that email is officially broken, referring to a recent statistics which says that 17% of all legit email is being canned by the spam blockers. It seems though that this is mostly a problem with the major ISPs: My own SpamAssassin seems to work nicely, with a very low rate of false positives.

But still, strong host authentication on SMTP looks like the right way to go. Of course, it will not work properly until every computer in the world gets an update so that we can turn off all the old mail servers and stop accepting non-authenticated hosts. Hm. Unfortunately this means that life will be a bit more difficult for those who actually need anonymous email: while anonymizer services will still continue, having their computers hacked or confiscated should reveal the identity of the sender in a way that is usable as hard evidence in a court of law.

Then again, a newly designed SMTP protocol would probably support encryption as a default option, so we would have better, but more brittle privacy all around. TANSTAAFL.

Wednesday, 13-Aug-03 17:11
An impossible problem

OK, here's to every geek out there (and I know there are many of you):

Two different integers between 1 and 100 are picked out of an opaque green hat. A person (call him P) is given the product of the two numbers. A person (call him S) is given the sum of these two numbers. After this, they have this following, rather stilted conversation:

P: I don't know that those two numbers were.
S: Yeah, I knew you didn't know. I don't know them either.
P: Ah, in that case I know the numbers.
S: Yes, now I know them too.

What were those two numbers?

At first, it seems to be impossible to answer this question, but in fact, it is solvable. Once you've baked your noodle long enough, check out the correct answer, or another explanation here. (Via Tangra on IRC.)

Wednesday, 13-Aug-03 12:51
Idealism?

Marcus Cole
"You are Marcus Cole. An honest and chivalrous adventurer that pursues just causes, you would sacrifice much to help others."

I am a Ranger. We walk in the dark places no others will enter. We stand on the bridge and no-one may pass. We live for the One, we die for the One.

Which sci-fi character are you, stolen from Merten.

Frankly, I always found Marcus rather dumb, and a hopeless romantic - but hey, that's what you get when you answer questions like "would you kill your best friend to gain immortality?" It's really bloody hard to answer anything sensible to a stupid question like that; you really never know until you actually are in that situation, and before that all thoughts and discussion is hypothetical based on an idealized self-image. It does perhaps some good to really think about hypothetical situations, so that you are not completely out of touch with yourself if something unlikely hits you - but still. You ain't what you believe you are.

Well, on the other hand, I guess Marcus is not really such a bad idealized self-image to have :-).

Tuesday, 12-Aug-03 19:11
Wiki gardening and IRC

Project Atom has really taken wikis to a new dimension, I think. For the first time, a wiki is being used as the main collaboration environment for building a project publically. Whether the project fails or succeeeds is actually irrelevant - I think the main contribution from the Atom Project is the way of working - and the realization that it actually is possible to build an open standard in such a way.

Another in the stream of innovations that is flowing from the Atom Wiki is the concept of WikiGardening and how it should be done. I've previously complained how mid-size wikis become eventually unmanageable unless they grow big enough to attract WikiGardeners. In retrospect it is obvious that IRC is the solution - this is one way IRC and Wikis again complement each other; one is a transient information exchange, while the other is a repository of knowledge. You could say that IRC is very useful as the "backchannel" of a Wiki. Wikis are much more about communities than WebLogs, and IRC is a very powerful community creator. For example, most of the heavy users and gardeners on suomigo.net also hang in the #go.fi channel. So much, in fact, that if I ever take the wiki down for more than a couple of seconds, the channel WILL be filled with "What's wrong? I need my wiki!" messages. Someone even once told me that I have no right to take the wiki away, because "it now belongs to us". Obviously, knowing the r00t passwords to the server I have a slight advantage in this discussion. :-)

It remains to be seen what else can be done by combining wikis and IRC. I think it's a good concept; having done one small project where we used a chat and a wiki simultaneously to make a quick hack, I can say that it was the most comfortable way of working with people that are all across the globe that I have seen yet. There's some discussion already on JSPWiki:IdeasInstantMessagingWiki.

Anyway, we'll be trying this on #jspwiki in the near future. It's a high time that we got the wiki cleaned... I am not expecting a big rush of eager people, but if we could do something with a few individuals, it would be cool. See JSPWiki:WikiGardener.

Tuesday, 12-Aug-03 16:35
You better watch out, Justin Hall is coming to town

Merten says that Justin Hall, the ur-blogger, is coming to Helsinki. I have perhaps complained before about the lack of free weekends during summer, and this is turning out to be a major conflict... I have now four places I have to or would like to be next weekend :-(.

OK, it's good to have social life (and I am happy for all those people whose happiest days I am going to witness), but too much of the good stuff is just too much...

Oh well. By November I am going to be bored out of my skull anyway.

Tuesday, 12-Aug-03 13:54
Remorse

I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever drink alcohol again.

Gng.

Tuesday, 12-Aug-03 06:18
Soft golems like water

This particular "soft golem" (his own words) liked water so much we ended up going to sauna with him, swimming with him, and having showers with him. Let this be another example of showerblogging.

The con afterparty was... nice, and we ended up to have a continuation party after a continuation party. I can assure you that every word that I write here is a product of serious contemplation, as I seem to be unable to type the simplest word without errors, Gnröf.

Sunday, 10-Aug-03 23:46
It's over

The con is over and the last final stuff is being stored away for the next year's con. It's amazing what kind of stuff the 'con has stored over the years. You wouldn't believe some of it...

Anyway, this year's con went past flying. I don't know how that's possible, but I didn't get into the "con mood" until somewhere around Saturday evening, and then the con was halfway over anyway. I was also extraordinarily tired, and perhaps a bit feverish too.

I also think I made a major screw-up, but I am not so sure. The story is still a bit hazy, and apparently a catastrophe was avoided barely, no thanks to me... :-/ Oh well. This year we had an unusual number of mishaps, mistakes, and miscommunications; but luckily most of them were invisible to the public. I guess the people who are arranging the con are getting a bit tired, or a bit too sure, so it's possible to be a bit more careless. I know I was guilty of it...

It's hard to understand that it's already over now. It just got started!

Sunday, 10-Aug-03 14:29
More pr0n

Mike was very popular all weekend.

I also apologize for this sudden carnal turn this blog has taken.

Sunday, 10-Aug-03 13:48
Signing

The first Finnish Roleplaying Book Author[1] Mike Pohjola signing body parts for enthusiastic young fans.

[#1] Many Finnish role playing games exist, but this is the first book. I don't even pretend to understand the difference.
Sunday, 10-Aug-03 03:53
Con secrets

This is how we keep awake and hyperactive in the night watch... Sugar!

Saturday, 09-Aug-03 21:59
Henri the man

Henri and his new toy.

Saturday, 09-Aug-03 20:22
Gala

The gala is happening, and the splendor of clothes and fashion is stunning. Sorry you can't see much, neither can I...

Saturday, 09-Aug-03 18:28
Working...

8 hour shift behind the info counter...

Saturday, 09-Aug-03 15:41
Medieval mobility

Yes, it is difficult to use a phone with a gauntlet.

Saturday, 09-Aug-03 13:19
Con talk

Overheard on the info desk:

"Hey, can you give me the key to the storage room?"

"Err... Do you work here?"

"Yeah, I am the head organizer."

:-)

Saturday, 09-Aug-03 13:14
Milla, this is for you

As requested.

Saturday, 09-Aug-03 12:16
The best party

...is always in the staff room.

Friday, 08-Aug-03 23:42
Star Wreck

We're waiting to see the new Star Wreck trailer, but unfortunately it is 200 km away, traveling here at 200 km/hour... So we'll be hearing an impromptu "making of".

(Joc insisted that I mention her. She was very touching as Ophelia in the dating game. :-)

Friday, 08-Aug-03 23:20
Fictitious dating game

Take 10 live-roleplayers in their favorite characters, steal the format from the dating game, and add an audience that is fully embracing the idea. Fun!

Friday, 08-Aug-03 19:18
Self-portrait

It's me!

Friday, 08-Aug-03 19:09
Con happens

...And card gamers and role players...

Friday, 08-Aug-03 19:05
Board games...

Settlers and robots... They're all here.

Friday, 08-Aug-03 18:33
go

The craze is here, too.

Friday, 08-Aug-03 16:47
A congregation of nerds

The Shop.

Friday, 08-Aug-03 12:54
Ropecon is here

The annual 3000-person role playing convention "Ropecon" is here, and I am, as usual, working there. I'll be moblogging from there, so watch this space if you can't come...

Stuff to remember when you are attending Ropecon

  • Tape Survivor, since you're not going to get much time to get home anyway.
  • Buy fridge full of food, since you will not have time to go shopping.
    • But buy only food you can eat also later next week, in case you don't come home until Sunday.
  • Pack:
    • Go board
    • A change set of clothes
    • A towel (which is also usable as an impromptu larp outfit, especially if you wish to roleplay yellow mold.)
    • Juggling balls
    • Emergency snack food
  • Take out the trash, because by god it's gonna smell on Sunday evening otherwise
  • Clean the apartment, in case you get ad-hoc sleepover guests
  • Find good shoes, 'cos you're gonna be standing the whole three days
  • Charge all electronic equipment, especially the camera.
    • Don't forget to take the camera charger.
  • Load up on cash, because the local ATMs might run out of it.
  • Be sure you're well rested, since there is no rest in the 'con.
Thursday, 07-Aug-03 17:29
Bugger

Thought I was over it, but wasn't.

How a simple thing like a piece of music can suddenly bring certain memories back with such extreme vividity, I'll never know.

Hurts like hell.

Thursday, 07-Aug-03 10:00
Why does modern music sound so crap?

Here's an interesting article to explain it: It's the square waves.

(Via roj).

Thursday, 07-Aug-03 09:33
IRC Channel for JSPWiki

Since I seem to be back for good in IRC, I established an IRC channel on freenode for JSPWiki support, called #jspwiki. There are already a couple of people hanging about on it; feel free to join in. :-) There's already a home page for the channel, too. I'll be there as "Ecyrd", except when I am asleep, working, or doing something else remotely useful.

The mailing list never really caught on; perhaps IRC will?

Wednesday, 06-Aug-03 17:57
A new way of moblogging

Don Park moblogs with a pen and a paper.

Of course, how do you search such a blog?

Update: Nice observation in the comments of the above entry: "Semantic web be damned." Yeah. Perhaps we really don't need the search after all; just treat all blogging as transient.

Wednesday, 06-Aug-03 16:03
Mental note to self...

...always double-check your regular expressions. Especially if there's a "rm -rf" somewhere on the command line.

I just accidentally destroyed several megabytes worth of data from a Wiki, and of course the restore system fails at the same time. Gngh.

Well, luckily I am so paranoid I actually have double -backups of all important data.

Wednesday, 06-Aug-03 11:52
Phantom time

Another odd thought that occurred to me yesterday:

Phantom time
The short period of time that occurs when you're almost late from an appointment, but your clock is not on time. During phantom time you don't know whether you're late or not; you might have time, or you might already be late. It's kinda like a lease that can suddenly be unilaterally terminated, but not by you.

Dunno... I often catch myself in these phantom moments.

Wednesday, 06-Aug-03 11:47
P-time and simultaneous discovery

It's scary how you get this idea all by yourself while cycling home, and then the next morning you find that someone else has thought about the same thing and blogged it during the night.

From Joichi Ito's weblog:

Ever since I started IRC, I've noticed that I'm reading much less email, getting a lot less structured work done, but having a much better sense of what's going on in our "space" and able to tie a bunch of pieces together that weren't tied together before. I think some people mistake this type of contextual multi-tasking as some form of ADD.

So, I shall not talk about time, since he already did so, but I'll talk about packetized conversations. In the old days, we had these huge packets (letters), that travelled slowly. Then we got email, and started sending smaller packets. With weblogs, we found broadcast traffic. And with IRC and other many-to-many chat systems, we have very small packets, with fast transmission and very low latency. It's kinda like the UDP/IP of human communication.

So, it's no wonder that Joi and others are now prioritizing chat to email. However, what I am worried about is persistence. While IRC can be logged, the conversation there is not usually archivable and searchable, unlike email, weblogs and wikis. How much knowledge will we lose if a huge chunk of the online communication disappears into the bit bucket? Do we care, i.e. is that discussion worth saving in the first place?

Tuesday, 05-Aug-03 11:52
London as a Wiki

Heyhey, this is seriously cool: The Open Guide to London is a Wiki, much in the Wikipedia style. In fact, all of the OpenGuides.org web site seems to be working on the same principle.

Yes, knowledge repositories and other areas that benefit from massively parallel data processing (i.e. a bunch of people writing, fact-checking, revising, and updating) are the right areas for Wikis. A company intranet, or a project worksite is very good ground for a wiki, but wikis are not very well suited for discussion, so they tend to grow out of control quickly. At the very least, they require someone who wants to edit the discussions into a readable form.

However, an encyclopedia rarely requires deep discussion, so a Wiki is a very logical choice for something like that.

Hm. Makes you wonder - what would be the correct way to add discussion capabilities to a Wiki - a WebLog facility certainly helps, but it's still no substitute for a good discussion board. And still, the transference of the discussion onto a WikiPage is a problem.

Monday, 04-Aug-03 15:15
Friendster, LinkedIn... Who needs friends?

Greg Storey presents Introvertster, The New Way To Get Rid Of People.

Monday, 04-Aug-03 15:13
God must exist

There are over 300 reasons why! For example:

TRANSCENDENTAL ARGUMENT

  1. God exists.
  2. If God exists, then if reason exists then God exists.
  3. Reason exists.
  4. Therefore, God exists.

MODAL ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT

  1. God exists.
  2. God, existing, is either necessary or unnecessary.
  3. God is not unnecessary, therefore God must be necessary.
  4. Therefore, God exists.

MORAL ARGUMENT (I)

  1. Person X, a well-known atheist, was morally inferior to the rest of us.
  2. Therefore, God exists.

Link through Tom Coates, who has a very good article about why he is an atheist:

I explained that while Christianity seemed transhistorical and transcendent - that originally it was just one of many different cult practices that exploded in a region at a certain time in history. And that none of these things made it untrue as such - but that they certainly challenged the monolithic image of Christianity as a pure beam of message from God - and that anyone who was going to seriously consider dedicating their life to a religious practice should probably do some bloody research beforehand...

It raises a question though: why does one have to justify being an atheist, but those that believe in God usually never have to justify their belief? Perhaps it is because there is no rationalization for faith? Or is it just because not believing is not the norm?

OK, I've had my share of things that could be called "religious experiences" so that I know that they are really hard to approach rationally, and that it is difficult to explain them to people who have not had them. I know it's also easy to get into this "holier than thou" -attitude: "You don't know what I've experienced, and I've seen so much better stuff that you simply must be wrong." But it is not so. It is a misinterpretation. Believing in God does not make one a better person. It may do that, and all those people who found God in prison, or otherwise reformed their life because of that: "Good for you!" But really, what you say and do has more relevance than what you think or believe in.

An old Zen story:

Student asks master: "What is enlightenment?"
Master says: "First, mountains and lakes are mountains and lakes. When you try to understand, mountains and lakes are not mountains and lakes. And once you achieve enlightenment, the mountains are mountains, and the lakes are lakes.

Sorry about the rambling. Difficult subject, Monday, first coffee break of the months of drudgery of work.

Sunday, 03-Aug-03 23:36
Vacation over

Back home. Saw Hulk. Movie good. Very comic-like. Nice transitions. Now tired. Need sleep. Work tomorrow.

Saturday, 02-Aug-03 20:12
A geeks choice

Sci-fi, agent comics, tech magazine, or go problems? Sci-fi, agent comics, tech magazine, or go problems?

Friday, 01-Aug-03 20:47
A reminder about endurance

This tree has been growing like this for at least ten years. Each year I am surprised to see it still alive, expecting that this winter the ice had finally destroyed its roots beyond repair, or the snow had broken it.

But it just keeps going. One has to admire that.

I guess that there are many cliche-y lessons in all this, but I think it demonstrates well the sheer stubbornness of life. No matter what the conditions, giving in is not an option. Sometimes we people tend to forget that.

Friday, 01-Aug-03 14:58
...to say nothing of the dog

I think he would've fit perfectly onto the boat with the three men, yes?

He loves sailing. We have no idea why.

And yes, my dear readers, I am aware that my blog has recently been most uninforming and self-centered. We will resume normal transmissions on Monday, as I again return to the megacorporation that pays my wages.

Wednesday, 30-Jul-03 20:28
Bliss

Sauna, peace, quiet, lake, beer. Perfect.

Wednesday, 30-Jul-03 17:16
Holiday mode

I decided to go to my parents' cottage for a few days. Don't expect any speedy replies if you email me... :-)

Tuesday, 29-Jul-03 15:33
Leg trouble

Our Russian breakfast: steak, macaroni, tea, muffins, sweet bread, and normal bread. No need for lunch after this.
I had the worst cramp in my leg for many years on the last night in Russia. I don't know what triggered it; the heat, lack of some nutrient, dehydration, the spring bed, alcohol - but at any rate I woke up nearly screaming at 7 am, unable to do much other than wince and curse while stretching.

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...

Tuesday, 29-Jul-03 12:26
Returnskaya

The Grand Cascade of the summer mansion in Petrodvorets.
I'm back home, sweating in my apartment. The weekend tournament went quite well, technically. I scored four wins, being the best Finn and won a t-shirt. Unfortunately I got two of my four wins because my opponent did not show up, and thus forfeited the game. Darn. I would've liked to play those games. Now I didn't get to play any serious games on Sunday :-(.

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.

"What!?"

"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.

Saturday, 26-Jul-03 22:33
Better

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.

Wednesday, 23-Jul-03 17:41
Juggling in Russia

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.

Tuesday, 22-Jul-03 11:23
From Russia, with mixed feelings

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.

Saturday, 19-Jul-03 07:28
Off we go!

St Petersburg, here we come.

Friday, 18-Jul-03 11:57
Why not just execute filesharers?

Dan Gillmor asks: Why not just execute filesharers?

Guilty as charged; I've been for ages distributing JSPWiki on the WinMX network :-). Though it's no longer there, since I don't run Windows anymore...

Perhaps I should put a BitTorrent server for JSPWiki stuff... It's not like we really need it, though.

Friday, 18-Jul-03 11:49
OK, scare over, nothing to see here.

The great "Is LGPL viral for Java discussion is over. From Slashdot:

The FSF's Executive Director, Brad Kuhn adds "LGPL's S. 6 allows you to make new works that link with the LGPL'ed code, and license them any way you see fit. Only the LGPL'ed code itself must remain Free. Such 'client code' can even be proprietary; it need not be LGPL'ed."

David Turner concurs

So it was just an interpretational thingy. Feel free to embed JSPWiki anywhere you like, even commercial products.

(Whoa, I was this >< close to being Slashdotted :-)

Friday, 18-Jul-03 00:20
Cleaning frenzy

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.

Thursday, 17-Jul-03 13:55
RSS does not have to be unidirectional

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? :-)

Wednesday, 16-Jul-03 22:08
Cleaning day

Today, I've, among other things, washed my Pikachu.

Wednesday, 16-Jul-03 19:56
LGPL viral for Java?

Blogging Roller: LGPL viral for Java?

Andy Oliver: I clarified the LGPL in Java issue with the FSF and posted to poi-dev. According to the FSF, the LGPL is indeed viral towards Java code. Thus, in essence GPL and LGPL are the same for Java. You could still find that the copyright holder of a particular software package held a different view and is willing to state that explicitly, but it looks like the Apache Software Foundation and Sam were right and I was wrong.

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.

Tuesday, 15-Jul-03 17:19
CSS experiments

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...

Tuesday, 15-Jul-03 15:44
JSPWiki gets intelligent caching

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 :-).

Monday, 14-Jul-03 22:42
Beautiful beer

Whoa. Samson's Smooth. Aesthetically pleasing cream ale. And the taste isn't too bad either.

Monday, 14-Jul-03 18:55
Showerblogging!

Yup! I'm in the shower, blogging. Boldly experimenting with new innovations! Or in this case, a mobile phone wrapped in a plastic bag.

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.

Monday, 14-Jul-03 15:29
Summer rain

26 degrees, sun shining, and me cycling to a park, just to hide under a tree as a particularly perky summer rain arrives out of nowhere...

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.

Sunday, 13-Jul-03 22:03
Necho feed added

As an experiment I wrote an implementation of the (n)echo for JSPWiki. It's in the CVS now, and also available on this site. However, it's probably outdated already, and it doesn't do Wiki diffs properly yet, only weblog content, but it's a start.

Necho feed of the ButtUgly weblog.

Sunday, 13-Jul-03 21:08
Back from the camp

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.

Oh well.

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.

Saturday, 12-Jul-03 21:21
No sir, I don't like this

This place sucks. It is ugly and boring. They have karaoke as entertainment, for chrissakes. Even the sauna closes at nine. Won't come here again.

(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.)

Saturday, 12-Jul-03 19:51
Good times

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.

Friday, 11-Jul-03 15:02
VACATION!

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. :-/

Friday, 11-Jul-03 14:44
Supernova coverage

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.

Thursday, 10-Jul-03 14:30
Spamblog

Jim O'Connell has made a SpamBlog. All of the spam he receives goes directly to a weblog, which you can syndicate, too.

He warns on the top of his page: "I wouldn't read this site with a Windows machine, if I were you..." A good idea, since he probably blogs all of his viruses, too. :-)

Thursday, 10-Jul-03 10:02
Real action bullet time

Henri sends a link to this wonderful Japanese video, where two guys do the Matrix bullet-time in real life, on stage, with ping-pong balls. No computers, no special effects, no wires, all in a single shot.

Wednesday, 09-Jul-03 14:48
Ouch.

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 =).

Tuesday, 08-Jul-03 12:59
Wikis make it to the MSNBC

MSNBC has a short introduction to wikis. Cool, though a bit short.

It’s not hard to imagine how such a forum being completely open to the public could turn into a real mess, which is why Wikis seem to be primarily tools for smaller, contained groups like business work groups.

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.)

Monday, 07-Jul-03 23:03
Partly Hairless

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.

Monday, 07-Jul-03 15:52
The internet is not shit

...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?)

Monday, 07-Jul-03 15:31
Weblogging a fading fad?

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:

The feature list, though, is of secondary importance, compared to AOL's ability to offer a blogging platform to tens of millions of people at once. I was there during the "AOL offers usenet access" days in the early 90s, and that was like watching someone turn the lights on at a baseball stadium.

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?

Monday, 07-Jul-03 13:55
JSPWiki turns two

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

Monday, 07-Jul-03 13:21
More interop magic

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.

Cool :-).

Sunday, 06-Jul-03 20:19
Interop magic

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?

Sunday, 06-Jul-03 17:12
Boing

Today, I have mostly been learning how to make juggling balls.

Saturday, 05-Jul-03 22:30
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!

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.
--Eveliina Kurki: "Sä osaat sillälailla peppua vemputtaa"

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.

WHAT!?!

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.

Saturday, 05-Jul-03 18:53
Comments!

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.

Friday, 04-Jul-03 16:21
Fourth of July

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"?

Dan Gillmor hasn't forgotten.

Thanks to Syksy for the link.

Friday, 04-Jul-03 15:11
Office day

Summer is here (finally, I might add) and hanging in the office feels like a crime. Luckily our office is close to the sea, and I can steal some time hanging out...

Friday, 04-Jul-03 13:47
Plug for a new Finnish blog

No, Hakkis, I am not uneasy. Sorry, Finnish only.

Thursday, 03-Jul-03 18:03
Testing OSCache...

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.

Thursday, 03-Jul-03 13:13
JSPWiki performance evaluation

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.

Wednesday, 02-Jul-03 18:52
Turnings

Walking is good for ya. Took a wrong turn, er, shortcut, and saw whole new places I've never seen before.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 02-Jul-03 17:14
Nostalgia on the fast lane

It's time to take a look at my statistics, now that I have been up and running for six months:

  • 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 :-).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 02-Jul-03 16:56
Blogger API 2.0 RIP

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:

  1. We will continue to support the Blogger API 1.0.
  2. We will not be implementing or supporting the Blogger API 2.0.
  3. We are moving away from XML-RPC.
  4. The syndication format and API format will be unified.
By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 02-Jul-03 15:54
The rise and fall of Dragonball Z

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[1] 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.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 02-Jul-03 13:12
EU software patents

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.

Aw, crap.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 02-Jul-03 12:29
"Blog" (R)

"Blog" is now a registered trademark in Japan, says Joi Ito.

Ouch.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 02-Jul-03 02:07
JSPWiki AAA

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.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 01-Jul-03 18:13
Wikis and personality

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.

Yes, exactly.

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.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 01-Jul-03 12:40
XML-RPC spec updated

Les Orchard notes that Dave Winer has updated the XML-RPC specification to remove the comment about ASCII.

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?

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 01-Jul-03 11:47
Like, man, wow

<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>

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 30-Jun-03 00:10
Role playing gives you ideas on Wikis

Relaxed weekend, killed player characters. My plans didn't go according to plan, but then again, neither did the PCs' plans. Oh well.

Interesting idea came up while we were talking this-and-that in sauna: One of my players also GMs occasionally, and he has built an interesting GM tool on top of TouchGraph and a custom HTML editor bean. Now, there is already a ~TouchGraph WikiBrowser...

What if you had a ~TouchGraph view of a Wiki, combined with WYSIWYG, Hydra-like editing, all on top of a WebDAV repository? That way we could get rid of

  • The traditional Wiki problem of bad navigability (and replace it with something that might, or might not be equally bad)
  • Edit mode
  • Page locking
  • The need to learn WikiMarkup
By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 27-Jun-03 13:51
Stupid test time
Years in prison: 43 Potential fine: £2000

Just what I needed. 43 years in the slammer. Great.

How dodgy are you?

(Link via Merten).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 27-Jun-03 12:40
More visa woes

Just spent two hours queuing in front of the Russian embassy. I was the first in line to get in, when they closed the office.

Yup, same thing as yesterday. Crap.

(Hm. I just realized that if they do a Google search on my name when they're doing a background check, they'll most certainly come across this weblog. Hi guys! How are you doing? :-)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 27-Jun-03 01:17
Blatant wiki-commercialism

Sorry for this advertisement break, but I'll have to plug the guys at Integral. They not only run a wiki as their intranet, it also serves as their public web site.

It not only looks nice, but it actually makes a lot of sense for a small company: You only really need a good template, and after that anyone in the company can easily update the public web site contents as well. You obviously have to close it from any non-company people, though.

I think this highlights something that has so far been neglected in this Wikis look ugly -discussion: What Wikis do is that they separate content from presentation; much like what Tex and LaTeX did originally. And this is a very, very powerful paradigm. It allows those people who can write content, think about the content, and only the content; and those who understand presentation, can think about the presentation.

Of course, most of the current Wikis do look ugly, no denying that. But this separation of form and function does exist in Wikis, much like it exists in WebLogs, or at least in the different weblogging platforms such as MovableType or Radio Userland.

The next logical step in the evolution path is to move to WYSIWYG-wikis, much like what happened with the transition from ~LaTeX to Word. I really, really do want a edit-in-place Wiki which has no separate edit mode. You just click anywhere on the text and type your stuff. I want to have a HydraWiki.

P.S. Of course, the fact they they are running JSPWiki has nothing to do with my enthusiasm. No sirree.

P.P.S. I had no idea JSPWiki could look so professional. :-)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 26-Jun-03 14:25
Bleargh^2

Still got the flu. It is apparently some virus infection that is rampaging across Helsinki right now, and the only thing you can really do is to rest and drink plenty of fluids.

So I am at home now, trying to think of ways to rest, after an unsuccessful attempt to apply for a visa to Russia:

- "Hello, I'm..."

- "Sorry, no room. I have many people applying for visa. Wait here", the helpful guard at the Russian embassy says. So I sit outside, shivering despite the sun. After a while, a bunch of russian-speaking people arrive, and ring the doorbell. The guard comes to the gate, and chat with them for a while, and then lets them in. I try to slip in behind them, but:

- "Sorry! Wait!"

So I sit some more. After about 15 minutes, the guard comes back out, and again, very helpfully says:

- "Closed! Come back tomorrow."

So I will go back tomorrow. At least I do now have the application forms, which the guard gave me after a brief negotiation.

So, this was really my first encounter with Russian bureucracy. Not something that you really look forward to when your head spins, your nose runs, and you are so tired you consistently misread "remove" as "replace". (Don't ask.)

But something good has come out of this, though: I've managed to watch a few movies on the backlog, and I also dug my old Amiga from the back of the cupboard, where it had been since I moved to this apartment. Now it's happily copying all sorts of personal data that was on the verge of destruction to my Linux box...

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 24-Jun-03 20:36
Call for support on weblog standards

Aaron Swartz: As previously noted, weblog protocols are stuck in a rut. We want to work together and solve the problems, but political battles keep getting in the way. It’s time to put our differences aside and solve the problem.

I support the weblog format roadmap. Let’s start fresh, work together, and get the job done.

There is a wiki page for the road map.

Standards good. I'm all for this effort, and JSPWiki will support it.

I do fear that there will be plenty of infighting, though. I don't know whether weblogging software is mature enough so that we know what to standardize and what to leave alone; and the whole RSS debacle seems a bit laughable to me: We have three formats; one of which is dying rapidly and every reader supports the every format anyway. So I don't think it's not a problem that we have multiple formats around; it's just an aesthetic problem, not a practical one.

However, a good, standardized and extensible SOAP (I've pretty much given up on XML-RPC due to all of its problems, such as the ASCII/UTF-8 mess) API for the most common weblog functionalities would be very cool.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 24-Jun-03 19:32
Bleargh

My head is full of snot, and even Kylie Minogue's music seems too complex to me in my current mental state.

I've spent most of today just sleeping, and trying to desperately do some things that I either should or want to do. But the trouble with the flu is that anything more complicated than operating a DVD player is slowed down by a factor of four. Gng.

On a more positive note, Ebu was kind enough to upgrade this server to a whopping 512 MB memory, which means that Java no longer hogs it all. This should make many things, including this weblog a bit snappier.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 23-Jun-03 21:09
OK, the promised cool stuff

One of the problems on the Internet and especially bloggers is that search engines cannot determine whether you are linking to a site to endorse it, or to denounce it. Whether you hate or love a page, Google will get the hyperlink and increase its rating in its own list, and you will help a page to gain popularity.

Since there is no standard way to mark a hyperlink for endorsement or denouncement that the search engines would understand, I have added a new plugin for JSPWiki: Denounce. It allows you to link to a page, but if a search engine indexes your page, the link is removed and it will just see a bit of text explaining the reason. Thus, it cannot index nor increase the link value, but your target audience can follow the link.

For example, I do not like mobileasses.com, so the search engines will never see it. But you, my dear reader, can see it and go there.

Let me know what you think.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 23-Jun-03 16:23
Midsummer musings

The final embers of a Midsummer bonfire.
Day is night and night is day. The traditional Finnish festival is going strong, booze and food is plentiful, and there are billions of mosquitos ready to devour every millilitre of our blood.

No kidding.

By the way, one of my least favourite spots to get bitten by a mosquito is the tender skin between your finger and your nail. It makes the whole tip of your finger numb...

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 23-Jun-03 16:20
Monday flu

I am at the office, and I am feeling worse minute by minute. My throat started to ache, I sneeze occasionally, I feel generally very tired, and I babble incoherently on the phone. Yup, feels like a summer flu coming up.

Still, it doesn't feel bad. I had a very nice Midsummer country weekend with a bunch of friends, which was a thoroughly relaxing experience. You know, swimming, sauna, barbeque, gaming, chatting... All the usual stuff.

At one point, as I was making my way out of the tiny kitchen, a friend looked at me, and then at my steaming paper plate of soba -wok which I had just cooked, and then she said, smiling: "You look like a very happy person."

That stopped me (that, and the door curtain that was supposed to keep flies out, but mostly served as a way to strangle yourself in a funny way). But you know what? For the first time in a long while, I think I actually am happy.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 23-Jun-03 15:35
GIF dead at 20

Kuro5hin reports that the GIF patent has now expired, and you no longer have to pay to Unisys if you happen to make GIF-writing software, or use GIF images on your web page.

While this is a good thing, we still should definitely keep using PNG, which is a far better image format. GIF should still die; we have better alternatives still.

Update: Note that in Europe, the GIF patent is still valid - so you can make legal web sites using GIF and Free Software tools in the USA, but not anywhere else in the world.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 18-Jun-03 23:41
Nonsense

I am watching yesterdays entry, and I realize it make no sense.

No sense at all.

I've been for the past few days running my brain on the overdrive, thinking, talking, and doing some pretty nifty stuff (some of which you may see in JSPWiki some day). It's fun, but it is also incredibly taxing. In a way the worst part and the best part of the whole thing is that when you are jazzed up about something, you just cannot let go - you can't really sleep, you don't really rest - you only crash.

Can't claim that I am still making sense, though. Just rambling off. But again, there is so much cool stuff I want to do! AGH! Give me more time!

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 17-Jun-03 16:21
Babylon 5 reruns

Been watching Babylon 5 DVDs.

"I'm not blogging what I'm blogging. I'm not blogging what I'm thinking. In fact, I'm not even thinking what I am thinking."

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 15-Jun-03 16:30
Geekiness

I have just spent the past 2 hours trying to configure a Windows 98 laptop to connect to an Apple Airport WLAN network. I'm in a seminar: I could've listened to extremely interesting presentations; I could've talked with one of the more interesting (for me anyway) invididuals in the world; I could've spared myself from an incredible number of grief, tears, and despair.

I could've said no.

But most geeks do not say no when someone asks for help. Even when you're "off duty". It's both a matter of personal pride, and the simple fact most geeks are, beneath the surface, friendly people.

Some people probably would point out that technical support is sometimes the only form of communication that geeks can have with non-geeks; and that some take advantage of the geeks' friendliness to offload "all the computery questions to them", but the truth is, we really don't care.

You recognize a true geek from the way he loves his work. A geek can work 14-16 hour days, get a lousy pay, without having to. It's the simple fact that you love the work, and the way you accomplish things while doing it. The road is more important than the goal, which is probably why most software is never finished: there is always something to be improved, tinkered, made better.

A geek does not have to be a computer nerd: Most artists (writes, painters, composers) work much in the same way, because they also love what they do, and they simply could not be not doing their work. I've heard this from many writers - they say that writing chose them, not that they chose to be writers. It's much the same thing with me: I don't think I could stop working with computers and programming. There's just no choice. In that sense, I do sort of count myself as an artist, and it gives a bit more evidence to why programming is an art.

(What happened to the WLAN card? I had to give up. And I always hate it when that happens. I actually had to go outside, stand in the cold air in my T-shirt, and to really cool off. I was about ready to start to go off and mash any Windows 98-computer I could find and feed the pieces down the throats of the programmers who were responsible for the thing.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 14-Jun-03 15:16
~CrossOver is officially cool =)

In case I haven't yet praised CrossOver enough, let me just rant on a bit.

~CrossOver is übercool.

I just downloaded the Quicktime 6.3 update, installed the 3GPP plugin, and now I can watch the videos I have taken with my 3650 on my Linux-box.

Hell, I can even run Internet Explorer 6.0 with little problems...

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (1)
Friday, 13-Jun-03 23:01
How nerdy can you get?

I am sitting in the Esplanad park in downtown Helsinki, where Elisa is providing a free WLAN.

And I am blogging this.

How sad is that? My fingers are freezing off (typical Finnish summer for you), and I am with my work people, on my work laptop. And I am blogging.

Please come over and shoot me.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 13-Jun-03 00:10
You Know You Are Too Tired When...

...your flowers start talking back to you.

(Update: As I read this entry, I realize that it sounds a bit nuts. The flowers didn't really start talking to me. It was just a bag filled with stuff that was slowly toppling over, moving a plotted plant and making noise.

No, I am fine. Thank you for asking. Really. I will go to bed now.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 12-Jun-03 01:01
Geek koan

Q: What is the sound of one head hitting the keyboard?

A: 6 6556 56t5654jh t bghty bgyht gtybh btgyhbtg 4yh

(I really, really, really need to start sleeping more. My current life style is selfdestructive, to say the least.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (1)
Tuesday, 10-Jun-03 23:44
JSPWiki supports now styles

Since I was on a roll, I also added something else that has been nagging me for a while. It is now possible to define also styles using %%style notation.

For example, this text should be rendered a bit bigger than usual, grey, in Verdana (if you have it installed) and with shadows as well (if your browser supports shadows). On Netscape 4.x, it should be totally screwed. :-)
By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 10-Jun-03 22:23
Including pages

A feature that has been long requested in JSPWiki has now made its way into the CVS head: It is now possible to include pages into other pages (and incidentally, also to create an endless loop at the moment :-/). See for yourself - this is my About-page rendered in a style I just chose at random:

Hi ho!

I am Janne Jalkanen, and this is my web log, proudly started on the first day of 2003.

It is a curious experiment, an attempt to see how well the current JSPWiki WikiEngine can be used to publish a WebLog; but it is also a channel for me to rant about stuff, and to avoid flooding my friends' email boxes, ears, or other appendages. Even though this is a WikiWiki, I have decided to disallow full editing for various reasons, mostly because the JSPWiki:WebLogPlugi ...

More...

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (3)
Tuesday, 10-Jun-03 12:00
The Astrobot diaries

I think the blogging phenomenon is getting a bit out of hand.

Check out this weblog from the two Lego astronauts traveling to Mars.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 10-Jun-03 11:56
Find out about anyone...

You've all seen the spam, yes?

"Find out everything about anyone in the USA"?

Thought it was a scam?

Nope.

This has to be one of the scariest applications I've ever seen. It isn't the fact that that kind of information is available, since most of it is accessible through public records, but the fact that it has been automated, and made so extremely easy that all you need to do is to click around a bit, type a name, and then decide how much information you can afford.

(Link through Freedom to Tinker.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 08-Jun-03 13:30
Social Software convergence

Hm. Joichi Ito is doing a pretty interesting attempt to merge together all possible social software instances: WikiWikis, IRC, WebLogs, cellphones, etc. And I thought I was mad when I suggested a WikiWiki-IRC synthesis :-)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 07-Jun-03 22:57
Against all odds...

...I am at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium watching the football game between Finland and Serbia-Montenegro. The old saying goes that one should try everything except your sister and folk dancing... Well, here goes...

(I do like Aussie rules football, though. It's got certain brutish style that is lacking from soccer.)

Update: Mental note. Always, always check all compartments in your bag before you go to a place where you're not allowed to bring any dangerous objects. I had some of my biking gear: a chain lock and a screwdriver. "No, sir, I am not a hooligan. I just routinely carry around dangerous objects. Yes, sir, I would gladly leave them here."

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 07-Jun-03 10:38
Polluted air

Tampere must have some really polluted air. Why else would I be so tired and my head hurt this much in the morning?

Bleargh.

On a more positive side, Bill Seitz has launched wikilogs.com, a WikiLog hosting service. Hope that works, though the front page definitely fills the Wikis Look Ugly-principle.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 06-Jun-03 07:47
On the train to Tampere

Wow. The train conductor just swooped into the compartment singing.

"Go-ood morning! Ti-ickets please-ee!" he sang.

"A-at what ti-me shall we be in Parkano?" sang back one of the passengers.

"Te-en minutes late. Or perhaps no-ot." replied the conductor, ending with a high note.

You have to understand that this kind of stuff just does not happen in Finland, where it is uncustomary to even utter "please". I think most of the people in this train are very scared now...

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 05-Jun-03 11:27
Reclaiming the public domain

Larry Lessig is trying to push a very simple, yet attractive idea:

We have launched a petition to build support for the Public Domain Enhancement Act. That act would require American copyright holders to pay $1 fifty years after a work was published. If they pay the $1, the copyright continues. If they don’t, the work passes into the public domain. Historical estimates would suggest 98% of works would pass into the public domain after 50 years. The Act would do a great deal to reclaim a public domain.

This is really a very brilliant idea - it would solve a lot of problems related to copyright extension, and yet would keep the most lucrative brands (Mickey Mouse anyone?) with the corporations that want them so much.

Obviously, there will be a lot of practical issues to solve before this proposal becomes reality. But it does look good enough.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 04-Jun-03 18:42
Multi-aggregation

I have been away all day from the computer I usually do my RSS aggregation with. I would have an another aggregator at home (I own and swap between several computers - no mixing of work and home data), but then I would need to go through the same blog entries again.

What we need is the ability to synchronize between multiple aggregators - and preferably in an aggregator-agnostic way.

I want to have nntp//rss in one computer, AmphetaDesk in another, something else on my laptop, and seamlessly have one blogroll, and synchronization between all these, so I don't have to see the same blog entries all over again.

I think OPML could work well; all you need to define is a "these blog entries have already been seen" -format. Hm. Since your RSS reader is probably connected to the web anyway... Then why not store this on a server somewhere. WebDav or just a simple servlet for GET/POST - or why not use XML-RPC or SOAP?

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 03-Jun-03 17:25
Paying for my mistakes

My screwup earlier seems to generate all sorts of traffic into this site. I pinged weblogs.com with the wrong URL (but which is still valid, it's just that JSPWiki will serve a "this page does not exist, would you like to create it" with a 200 OK code, so for all intents and purposes, it is a valid page for each bot that comes looking.

For example, I was suddenly elevated into #60 or something in the popdex top 100, because I am referring to myself from two URLs or something. Also, I've been appearing doubly on everyone's Technorati Blog Cosmos...

Oops. In a super-connected blogosphere, any mistake will replicate, grow, and come back at you... It's a dangerous world. :-)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 02-Jun-03 13:26
RIAA rulez?

From WDET streaming page:

WDET 101.9FM Detroit Public Radio has temporarily suspended streaming its music programming on its website (wdetfm.org) today because of rules created by the recording industry limiting what music can be streamed. These rules designed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and approved by Congress dictate how stations must stream music by a particular artist within a certain amount of time. For example, a station is not allowed to play more than two songs in a row by the same artist, and not allowed to play more than four songs by the same artist within a three-hour period.

How insane is that?!? And apparently, these rules only apply to webcasting, not broadcasting. I would love to hear the thinking behind those rules...

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 01-Jun-03 21:05
Seven

Spoke too soon. Enjoy the new monthly navigation in the ~CalendarTag (see right upper corner - click on the month name to get a full list of all entries created that month).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 01-Jun-03 19:59
Russ hates Flash

Russell Beattie hates Flash, especially when combined with IE, and puts things in his eloquent way :-).

But then again, any web site that uses Flash as their only UI element is never going to be properly indexed by Google or other search engines, and thus nobody is ever going to find it again. Internet evolution in action :-).

(Hm. Could web sites be viewed as organisms struggling against each other? Weblogs would certainly fare well in that regard, since they end up high in search engines, and provide fast changing content... Perhaps that explains the sudden popularity of the weblogging phenomenon. A certain meme analogy here.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 01-Jun-03 19:20
Record breaking time

Combining yesterday and today, I have committed five different revisions of JSPWiki into CVS.

Whoa.

Today the coding has mostly been around authentication/authorization, and we finally have our first version that actually works.

Correction: six. The new stable release will be out in about 15 minutes. It's in the oven... err... compiler.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 01-Jun-03 14:52
Googlehacking

Visa Kopu asks if we should test what happens when all Finnish bloggers say one phrase together, and check how far up we rank in Google in a month.

So here goes: Ilmaisia porno kuvia.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 01-Jun-03 14:29
try { codeAllDay(); } catch( CodingErrorException ) {}

For the past couple of days, I've pretty much done nothing else than written code for JSPWiki. Whoa. I'm getting a lot of stuff done. So far, JSPWiki has gained:

  • Page filters
  • Partial XHTML compliance.
  • An ability to detect external changes to page repositories.
  • A bunch of bugfixes relating to authentication.

In fact, this entry should automatically now ping weblogs.com automatically... Exciting to see if that actually happens =).

Update: Duh, stupid coding error. Got wrong URL for this blog. :-)

Update2: I wonder what is going to happen now...

Update3: YEAH! Works!

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 31-May-03 15:07
The JSPWiki logo

There has been some discussion about the JSPWiki logo, but so far nothing earth-shaking has come up, though there have been some very nice pictures.

This morning a circular solar eclipse was visible throughout the Northern Europe. I didn't remember to buy any viewing equipment, so I resorted to the good old pinhole camera. Then I realized that you could make pictures with it, by punching holes in any order you desire. Of course, a smart person would've figured this one out sooner rather than during the actual eclipse, so my image gallery got a bit restricted.

But here's one suggestion for the JSPWiki logo =).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 30-May-03 17:04
JSPWiki + Roller

Dave Johnson has integrated JSPWiki rendering into Roller. Woo-hoo! This is incredibly cool!

So, Roller is now an official WikiBlog. :-)

Update: Dave, I took a quick look at your wikiplugin. To me it looks quite okay, and it uses all of the proper APIs. Good work! I also started a page for JSPWiki embedders.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 30-May-03 10:48
This page is not blank

This website now features a blank page according to the recommendations of the TPILB-Project.

Thanks to Bignose for the link.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 29-May-03 23:48
Cycling on the swamp

Today is a public holiday in Finland, so obviously I managed to squeeze in a full schedule. After visiting my grandmother, I practiced some more experimental cooking - though this time it turned out to be quite edible and nice, and thus does not really qualify as a scientific experiment. Then I went for a quick bike ride with a friend, and ended up on a swamp. In the picture it seems all so very quiet, but this is in fact a busy Finnish neighbourhood called Jakomäki, right next to the Porvoo motorway. So the sound of the cars passing by was quite audible, which made the contrast between the "middle of nowhere" scenery and the sound landscape somewhat strange.

We got all sorts of really strange stuff here you usually never really think about, unless you specifically go out to look for it. It's probably the same in most other cities and countries, I would guess. But why do we fill our lives with the same things all over again? We repeat ourselves too much, I think. Break the mold - do something new and exciting!

I once heard a good advice - "Every day, learn something new." Simple advice. REALLY hard to live by. Think about it for the next week - every night, when you go to bed, name one thing that you have learned or done that day that you did not know or had done before.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 27-May-03 19:35
Chicken transformation set

Dear god. This is... can't say... brain hurts...

   ERROR: User brain imploded.  Please insert new, then press enter.

(Link via Hakkis).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 27-May-03 13:31
Permalinks Considered Harmful?

The following discussion is originated and influenced by Jukka Zitting, originally running at the Finnish blogiwiki. I am just translating the discussion here in English and providing a place to discuss it.

With a lot of the recent discussion (which is really a rehash of some older discussion) Jukka spoke of something that has also been disturbing me for a while, but could never really put to words:

Permalinks are really annoying.

  • They are usually very hard to find on the blog, being efficiently hidden.
  • Every blogging engine uses a different convention (some use '#', some use the time [took me a long time to figure this one out], some use the word "permalink", some don't even provide one).
  • The logical way of cut-n-paste from the browser header line does not work, since it contains just the front page address.
  • The permalinks are usually hard to guess.
    • This is simply because every engine uses a different way: for some this is basically just the entry number in a monotonically increasing order. For others, it is the date and the title in some logical but unintuitive format.

However, permalinks are the key ingredient to weblogging. We could not function properly if there was no way to link to specific entries of other weblogs. It is just that the "latest entries on a single page" -metaphor hides them extremely efficiently. This discourages linking, and linking is the key to connectivity, and connectivity is the key to weblogging.

So basically, we have a nice concept of weblogs, but one of the key elements, permalinks, is being treated like a necessary evil, and hidden away. Some companies even break the permalinks on occasion; not even providing proper redirection. Clearly, some better solution is needed.

Wikis solve this in a different manner - the RecentChanges list is basically a weblog, which consists of a list of links to multiple entries. Permalinks are thus easy and logical to find - they are either of the normal "underlined blue word" -variety, or you can just cut-n-paste the URL from the box on the top of your screen. This method is also being used in some weblogs. Unfortunately, this makes the weblog harder to read, since much more clicking is now involved.

There is also a more fundamental difference between a WikiWiki and a WebLog: In a Wiki, pages are not static, but they can be refactored, added to, removed, and changed many times during their lifetime. Weblog entries are in general only touched to correct typos later on. This is something that makes WikiNature and ~WeblogNature fundamentally different.

BUT!

We have RSS. In RSS, there is no problem, since all of the BlogFlow is "chunkized", to quote Ben Hammersley, and within each entry, you will see the permalink in a much more prominent manner. This suggests to me that RSS is really the native format of the weblog world. In a way, even the front page of a weblog is really just an aggregator : it combines the latest entries together into HTML and sends it off to the browser - RSS does the same thing, except that it does not build the web page at the server end.

Meg Hourihan suggested at ETCon that while writing is well covered with good tools, we're lagging behind in reading tools, which suggests to me that we should work more on RSS and think whether the browser-based metaphor of weblogs is really the correct one?

Please discuss this entry.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 27-May-03 11:48
Blogumentary
She started it on something, and I go to this thing, and you know, write my thing and then press Enter and it all goes away.

Check out this hilarious documentary about blogging. Thanks to kaytoskukka.org for the link :-).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 26-May-03 19:06
Attention Span and Abstinence

Decided to drop IRC for a while - it damages my ability to concentrate too much. It also takes a bit of time, and unfortunately it also brings the least benefit. I also changed my email check interval to 20 minutes, so there would be less time between interruptions.

It's too easy to fall into a mode where you switch back and forth different documents, programs, web pages, papers, cell phone so fast, that most of your time is used in the task switch overhead. Need to slow things down for a while.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 24-May-03 23:42
Commentary

Just heard, as the large-chested Shakira-lookalike from Greece with a very revealing leather corset finished her song: "Pretty big... lungs she has."

(The commenters are forbidden to comment on the performer's looks after some derogatory comments that were made last year by the French(?).)

Ngh. The Belgian song was in a made up language. But if you're going to make a fool of yourself, why not try sindarin or klingon?

(should I be worried since the T9 on my 3650 knows the word "klingon"? Probably.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 24-May-03 23:13
Eurovision song contest

Yeah, I'm watching it. It's a sort of a tradition to torture yourself by listening to the only contest in the world where you only have to reach mediocrity to win. Every year a bunch of countries show that even that is exceedingly difficult for them.

Finland? We didn't make it this year to the main competition. Typical.

Argh! The UK singer can't even sing! The only positive and fun thing about this is the commentary track of the Finnish TV... It's a good thing I'm drunk. Otherwise I might not be able to withstand this.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 23-May-03 17:53
Bloggers all over the world

Technorati says it tracks 322,746 weblogs (at this moment). There have been estimates that there are roughly perhaps a million bloggers.

In the BlogTalk 2003 conference a bunch more numbers are presented, shamelessly copied from David Weinberger's coverage:

  • Poland has 100,000 webloggers, 62% of them women
  • Iran has 12,000 webloggers, 75% men. Six of the top 10 blogs are about sex.
  • Spain has around 2,000 weblogs.

To cap this off, data from Pinseri:

  • Finland has 284 weblogs (that are tracked by Pinseri).

That's just four countries. To me this suggests that the suggestion by Meg Hourihan at ETCon was correct: Part of the blogosphere is unidirectional. We can't read Iranian weblogs, but they sure can read all English weblogs. There could be (and is) an incredible amount of activity and innovation going on, and the US-centric high-end blogging world would never know about it!. For example, the most popular Finnish weblog Pinseri is doing all sorts of interesting stuff, analyzing the readers of the weblogs instead of the writers.

In fact, there probably already are more non-English weblogs than there are English weblogs. The English weblogs are, however, obviously the glue between the different "bubbles" of blogospheres - obviously none of the bubbles can communicate between each other except via using a common language.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 23-May-03 17:31
Open Source Directive

Everyone, who ever contemplates about making an Open Source Project should read the following guidelines, replicated here just because they are so incredibly correct:

Do not, do not, do not start a public Open Source project unless you already have:

  1. Working code that does a useful and/or interesting subset of the project's goal
  2. An automated build
  3. Sufficient instructions to get the program running

Read the rest of the rant.

All I can say that that truer words I have rarely heard :-).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 23-May-03 16:53
Pigeonette?

I was just looking in Google for all of the Finnish WikiWiki sites, and I found this company which sells a WikiClone for companies to be used for their intranets. Does anyone know anything about this? I would be interested in hearing what kind of a system they use. At least the website looks horrible - moving the mouse causes all of the text to change colour...

(Sorry, links in Finnish only).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 23-May-03 15:06
I am a tortured artist. Well, not quite.

You are 33% Tortured Artist

You have some artistic ability, but it is probably a hobby and doesn't drive your life into a dark abysmal hole where you alone are against the world.

HA!

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 23-May-03 12:20
Buttons, more buttons

Visa Kopu links (in Finnish) to this site where you can steal or create new buttons. Which is nice.

But then again, something like that is simply too cool to be used for its intended purpose, so certain innovators take it a bit further. :-)

This just shows that one should never, ever assume what your users are going to be doing with your stuff...

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 23-May-03 01:22
JSPWiki stable

I'm testing the newest CVS code from the stable branch in jspwiki.org. If it works well enough, then we should be able to get a new stable release out soon.

Hum. I forgot my phone home today. Even though I don't usually get so many phone calls a day (IRC/email seem to take much more of my time), it still felt really strange to be unconnected all that time. I was pretty much unable to plan anything, and I had a constant nagging feeling that someone could be calling right about now, and I had no way of telling. Perhaps they would think I am impolite when I don't answer? Or perhaps it is some once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that went by because I wasn't available?

Irrational fears, I know. But I guess it really shows how well we have been accustomed to constant connectivity. I can live without email for a week, no worries. But without a phone? I would be quite lost.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 22-May-03 10:19
Matrix

Saw Matrix II yesterday evening.

It's okay.

At least I think it's okay. I nearly fell asleep watching it. There was relatively little new stuff in it to keep me awake: it's just like Matrix, but with More Of The Same Stuff. Little sense of wonder left there :-/.

I think that's the source of the biggest complaints against it - the original Matrix was just So Cool and did everything In A New Way, and spawned a thousand movies that wanted to copy it. Matrix II isn't original, it's a copy of the original Matrix. It's a good copy, but still a copy.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 21-May-03 16:11
Create your own nation

Nation States allows you to create your own country and run it.

I was briefly interested, but after I couldn't think of a sensible country name that wasn't already used, I figured I'd rather bitch and moan about it in my web log rather than actually use my imagination.

That's what not sleeping enough does to you.

(As a side note: if do you sleep enough, and come to work all rested and filled with ideas, this might happen. So I don't know what is better. But it does explain why all of my entries on this blog show their last modification date as "<never>". Thanks to Foster for the link.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 20-May-03 23:33
These mornings should not be...

Slept far too long this morning, then drove a bike to work, just to find out I had forgotten to take a fresh shirt with me.

Ngh.

Well, at least I can watch Robot Wars, one of the few TV programs I follow regularly. There is just something so ... cute about the people who build all that stuff and then happily destroy the stuff that others built with painstaking effort.

As a side note, I am now a happy user of Mozilla Firebird, a very nice browser. Especially on a laptop it is very useful, because it uses the window very efficiently and supports tabbed browsing.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 19-May-03 23:22
JSPWiki development update

I have mostly complained about the state of JSPWiki lately, but I do have some cool news as well: it is now possible to add all sorts of interesting metadata and directives on the pages, and as a demonstration, here is a page which sets the used WikiTemplate on-the-fly.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 19-May-03 19:22
Butt Ugly

Hehe. Joi Ito has a good, butt-ugly picture. :-)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 19-May-03 18:06
Yay! Wiki acceptance curve going up!

New York Times mentions wikis! Cool.

"You just have to do enough things well enough and cheaply enough," says Clay Shirky, a software guru who is an adjunct professor at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program. "It's the attack-from-below strategy."

Right on! It's just a bunch of people who recognized a good thing and started slowly working towards a common goal. Just like Linux, just like weblogs.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 19-May-03 12:44
Why privacy?

Yes! This post at iWire explains something that I've been wondering for some time. In the old days, we didn't have to care about privacy - we could just shut our doors or move in the middle of the forest to have privacy or something. But now:

Information networks cut across all sorts of boundaries, mingling politics, social lives, working lives, sex lives and so on. They don't care. Data bases and networks don't form judgements about what should or shouldn't be stored, so we have to take that decision for them, thus creating privacy rights.

This is exactly like what has happened so many times in our history already: technology changes many ways that we thought how the world once behaved, that we need to adapt ourselves, our thinking, and our laws to accommodate that.

New York Times also has an article that has been sending ripples through the blogosphere: "It's like all of my friends are reporters now" that touches the same subject. Especially combined with camera phones, blogs represent a big challenge to our privacy issues. No longer is our privacy threatened by the anonymous big corporations: it will also be threatened by well-meaning (or not), but uninhibited friends equipped with cameras.

Link through Corante.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 19-May-03 12:01
World's dullest blog
By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 18-May-03 22:47
JSPWiki gets rudimentary authorization support

Well, I finally bit the bullet and committed the current version of JSPWiki authorization code into CVS. It still has more holes than Bonnie and Clyde combined, and I am not even certain whether I want to keep the syntax, but it's now there for those who want to see it.

I would like to point out though that any bug report you can think of I probably already know about :-). And for whatever-deity-you-believe-in's sake, DO NOT USE this in a production environment!

(Said he, knowing fully well that by Monday morning, his mailbox would be full of questions. You know, there is a JSPWiki mailing list.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 18-May-03 22:42
Pinseri goes WikiWiki

The guys at pinseri go WikiWiki. Sorry, the text is Finnish only, but the gist of the story is that the history of Finnish weblogs will be stored in a Wiki. This is definitely a good thing, and while they didn't choose my favourite Wiki, the more people use Wikis, the better.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 17-May-03 17:18
Going down once, twice...

No, sir, I do not like this, as a certain horse used to say.

My grandmother was suddenly hospitalized, I have to pay a lot more extra taxes than I was prepared to, I am more confused than usual, JSPWiki development is not doing well, I am not sleeping well, and it is bloody raining.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 16-May-03 16:53
18-cent and 1.37€ coins?

Rolands Technology Trends tells us that a recent study suggests that it would be most economical for the US to issue 18 cent coins, and Europe could do well with 1.33€ or 1.37€ coins. If you want to minimize the number of change, that is.

Hehe. We Finns already ditched the 1c and 2c coins because they were too expensive and useless, which probably screws up this whole calculation. But I am sure a 1.37€ coin would boost the average person's ability to do maths in their heads =).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 15-May-03 19:42
Internet Archive archiving RSS feeds?

Just noticed this one in my logs:

feeds.archive.org - - [15/May/2003:19:26:13 +0300] 
    "GET /JSPWiki/rss.rdf HTTP/1.0" 302 280 "-" "Python-urllib/1.15"

Does this mean that the Internet Archive has started to archive RSS feeds as well? If yes, then way! If not, then they bloody well should. :-)

Hm. Further searching into this matter does not reveal much. Even the discussion board is quite concentrated around the validator.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 15-May-03 17:07
The Core

From the Wired Magazine:

Stevenson’s vision, outlined in the May 15 issue of the journal Nature, involves blasting open a fissure in the Earth's crust measuring several hundred meters in length and depth, and about 30 centimeters wide; a task "presumably requiring a nuclear device."
Once that ground was cleaved, about 100,000 tons -- and perhaps as much as several million tons -- of molten iron would be poured in, along with the probe or probes. Gravity would draw the iron, and the probe floating within it, at a running pace through less-dense minerals down to the core 3,000 kilometers below. The probe would take temperature, pressure and composition readings along the way.

Well, I have to say that this is the wackiest scientific proposal I've heard in a while. It might just be crazy enough to work. But a) wouldn't you get the temperature of the molten iron, and b) that sounds like a waste of perfectly good iron :-).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 14-May-03 18:32
Major disappointment

Yes, it is very true. This site has officially been now recognized as a very good site. Peace.

Those who know that my nickname is "Evil" may snicker freely now.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 14-May-03 13:18
Linked In?

Took a look at LinkedIn. While the idea in itself seems... sensible, I am however very much turned off by it. I look at it, and whisper to myself: "No, that is one game I do not wish to play." Suddenly, the people I know, the people I like, and the people I dislike have become commodities to be traded. While it can be true from one point of view, I am having a hard time relating to it. Perhaps it is the fact that ~LinkedIn makes this "resource management" very visible, throwing away the slightest pretense of humanity that even the most jaded consultants and headhunters use to cover themselves.

I am more than my contact network.

(Liz wonders why women don't like LinkedIn either. To me this suggests that there might be something fundamentally wrong with the whole thing.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 13-May-03 21:36
Speed.

I upgraded the JSPWiki engine running this weblog to 2.1.18. It should bring considerable speed increases to the way weblog entries are handled. Let me know if it brings on any other problems.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 13-May-03 17:38
Free time?

People have been accusing me that I have obviously far too much free time since I have time to do stuff like this. On the contrary! This is exactly what people do when they don't have enough free time, and instead of quietly relaxing and reading some nice book, you go out and do something obviously stupid and pointless.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 13-May-03 00:44
More things you really, really didn't need to know

Let us continue our scientific experiments. This time we discover what will happen if you introduce a vacuum cleaner to a can of cocoa?

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 12-May-03 23:50
Hero

Just saw Hero.

I am speechless.

At this moment, this feels like the most beautiful film that I have ever seen. The stunning visuals, colors, choreography, timing, composition of the images, the story, the actors... It. Just. Is. Incredible. I couldn't help but to weep during the pure, haunting violin music overlaying the end credits.

See this movie.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 12-May-03 16:20
Absurd thought of the day

Perhaps I should label all of my whisky bottles "Potion of Summon Hangover +3"?

Thinking along the same line, maybe absinth should be called "Potion of Summon Green Fairie".

Egrhfdbldhgnmpfdh...

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 12-May-03 12:59
But Dave...

...we got one. Right there, at the bottom. You can't see it because you aren't logged in, but yeah, we got one. Try the SandBox :-).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 12-May-03 12:54
Ballmer on DRM

From The Register:

"...our forthcoming Office 2003 productivity software suite will enable users to designate who can open a document or email message, and specify the terms of use - for example, whether they can print, copy or forward the data. A rights management add-on for Internet Explorer will extend these protections to Web content."

Hum. Isn't the point of putting protection in Office such that if someone, say OpenOffice, produces software that can read Microsoft Office format files, they can be sued for DMCA violation?

For Microsoft, Office is the one that brings them the money, because people want to keep compatibility with their documents. Since new programs are getting pretty good at deciphering .DOCs and other formats, it's in their best interests to make sure that this stops as soon as possible. They can even move to an XML-based, otherwise open format, and still yell "DMCA" whenever someone even breathes at it.

Yes, DMCA was done to protect starving artists. Ri-ight.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 11-May-03 23:40
Musings

Looking back at my old entries it seems that I usually blog about interesting links or articles or other stuff on week days, but never about myself. However, on the weekends this gets totally reversed.

Perhaps it means that I have little life on week days - work tends to sap my strength quite a lot, so nothing much worth blogging happens then. Or perhaps it is vice versa - nothing worth blogging happens on the weekends, so I have to write about my life. Who can tell?

Went to see my grandmother today, who unfortunately had hurt her back and had to stay in bed. I bought a potted flower, because I frankly don't like the idea of flowers - or any living thing for that matter - being cut and killed for entertainment purposes. Food yes, beauty no. Afterwards, I went to see X-Men 2, where a bunch of people got cut and killed for entertainment purposes and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Do other people also do this self-contradicting stuff all the time? Do they realize it? Or is it just that everyone else has a perfect grasp of reality and know exactly where the fine line between imagination and the reality goes?

It is no wonder the world is so confused.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 10-May-03 06:17
Good morning

For some completely unfathomable reason I am up at 5.30 on a Saturday morning. Very few people are around, sun is shining, birds are singing, and the bus drivers actually say "good morning". At times like this Helsinki seems almost like a nice town.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 09-May-03 13:04
Google to weed out blogs

Andy Orlowski still hates webloggers, as evidenced by this Register article :-).

But anyway, it is probably a good idea that Google changes their algorithm to tune down the interlinking mesh of the blogosphere. Too much inbreeding can't be a good thing; and we certainly don't want Google boosting it to the extreme.

I would really like Google to spider and index RSS feeds, though...

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 09-May-03 12:56
The power of blogs

This Salon.com article (you gotta watch an ad, if you ain't a subscriber), while basically being a "who said what and why did this guy get fired" has one very telling quote:

"I wasn't about to go pleading my case to the media," Wheaton says. "If I didn't have my weblog, there's a good chance that [G4 executives] would have been able to completely put out their version of events because they have the biggest and loudest voice. I never would have been able to say that the reason I quit the show was because they're lying to you and when I said, 'Stop lying to the audience,' they screamed and yelled at me."

As I was saying earlier, weblogs can make a real impact since they provide an unfiltered channel for people to bring out their versions of the story. No longer you are limited by which editor likes you and who is currently in and who is out; any celebrity, or politician can tell their version of the story, unfiltered by third parties. This is one of the great powers of weblogging.

To paraphrase an old saying: "a lot of people who deserve to be heard, do not blog; and a lot of people who can't say anything original, do."

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 09-May-03 11:41
A time warp?

Hey! I am absolutely certain I blogged something yesterday. But I can't remember what I wrote, and the entry seems to be, well, non-existent. So I have to conclude that I did not write yesterday at all, even though my fragile memory tells me otherwise :-/.

Anyhoo, I am completely stuck at the JSPWiki authorization implementation. There are plenty of very small, tiny details that seem to grow out of proportion once you touch them - everything influences something else, and you can't touch a single piece of code without something else breaking. Ugh. It really is like a big bowl of spaghetti; and this is the first time I've ever realized where that term truly comes from.

I guess it's just the development phase - I work on one thing, then I realize that this does not work, work on something else, come back a bit later... It's not a very structured approach, I grant you that, but since most of my original ideas for the code tend to fall apart when I start poking the stick at them, I kinda just have to keep all of the code in my head and juggle it around in there.

Pfft. I had to do something different yesterday, and implemented a bunch of code that a) refactors a lot of the main JSP pages, and b) adds search highlights. You just sometimes have to do something fun, or else your brain implodes.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 07-May-03 16:38
dot-mars?

By 2005, the Mars probes will be using email to call home. I think this Interplanetary Internet makes sense - the only problem will be the lag times.

PING www.firstbase.mars (10.20.30.1): 56 data bytes
64 bytes from 10.20.30.1: icmp_seq=0 ttl=255 time=1235030.5 ms

--- www.firstbase.mars ping statistics ---
1 packets transmitted, 1 packets received, 0% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max = 1235030.5/1235030.5/1235030.5 ms
By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 07-May-03 16:16
Microgravity is cool

From kuro5hin: Don Petit recently spent a morning off playing around with a piece of wire, a little bit of water and some food coloring. He had intended to make soap bubbles but got curious and wondered how pure water bubbles would behave in micro-gravity.

Take a look at the video. Perhaps it is a new kind of medium for art?

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 07-May-03 01:29
Which infamous criminal are you?

You are Vlad the Impaler. The man behind the legend of Dracula. You hanged your victims, stretched them on the rack, burned them at the stake, boiled them alive, but mostly impaled them. Most of your killings were politically targeted but sometimes you killed just because you were bored. Your "reign of terror" lasted from 1456 to 1462. Estimated numbers of victims vary between 30,000 and more than 100,000. Evil Evil man. Fie on you!

Take the test. Link through so many blogs it's not even funny.

I am sure most of the players who have played in my RPG campaigns would agree with this characterization.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 04-May-03 13:59
Go, white, go

And people say watching this game is about as interesting as watching grass grow... :-)

A strong amateur game in progress to the right.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 03-May-03 19:52
Time out

Started the terrace season today, despite the fact that I'm visiting Oulu, a city a bit too close to the Arctic Circle. I don't think my fingers will ever melt again.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 02-May-03 18:50
The Finnish Spring

Wappu is the biggest and busiest festival of springtime, especially for the students and the police. Finns like to express their joy after the dark, cold winter, and greet the sun and summer by the most powerful means we have: alcohol. Preferably in large and dangerous quantities. Which does not make it too easy on the city cleaning department either, as evidenced here.

I was considering taking my bike out for a spin, but luckily regained my senses. The city is namely half-full (half-empty?) of broken glass for a few days...

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 01-May-03 15:54
Good morning

Just woke up. I must've been very tired - I slept for over 12 hours... Oh well, there goes the Wappu.

However, thanks to Merten, I now know where I'll end up:

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Sixth Level of Hell - The City of Dis!

Here is how you matched up against all the levels:

Level Score
Purgatory Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo Low
Level 2 High
Level 3 Very High
Level 4 Moderate
Level 5 Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis Very High
Level 7 High
Level 8- the Malebolge High
Level 9 - Cocytus Low

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 30-Apr-03 16:19
Ugly Wikis?

In the ETCon aftermath, a discussion has been sparked about how ugly Wikis look. Joi Ito comments. And I agree - but only because most Wikis do look extremely plain. However, there is no reason whatsoever that Wikis should look bad. No reason! However, there is a certain zen-like quality of simplicity in the whole concept, and I think that the WikiEngine authors often consciously or subconsciously reflect that in their site designs.

Well, with this web site I can hardly claim that JSPWiki looks particularly nice, but some people have made some really nice templates for JSPWiki. Check out the mrg template, the Cocoon Wiki or the Roller Wiki. Perhaps it is time to include one of these in the JSPWiki main distribution.

Also, as a weblog using a Wiki is extremely nice, since I don't have to worry about posting in HTML - I can just type in WikiMarkup. It's quite a lot easier to type on a mobile phone than angled brackets...

There is also discussion on whether a finer layout control should be allowed, to give the writers the ability to define DIVs and SPANs on their wiki pages.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 30-Apr-03 01:30
Oops, revoking license to read

Satn.org points out a serious problem with the Creative Commons licenses. I'm withdrawing the license for now, until this gets resolved. The Creative Commons licenses really are not suitable for the casual weblogger. I cannot check each and every link I give for possible unlawfulness - how could I know how the laws work in different countries?

Darn, how could I've missed this one?

(Via Scripting News.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 29-Apr-03 11:59
The test everyone else is doing

Logical-Mathematical Thinker. Everyone, act surprised. Err... Anyone? Hm. No-one.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (2)
Tuesday, 29-Apr-03 11:35
Memetics

BTW, I just realized that I have created a meme. That thing has been posted all over; it is currently the most read page on this site. I have also already received the link via IRC at least once. ("Hey, check this out, some nutcake made this sick page!" "Yeah, that is my site." "Err...")

It will be interesting to watch the referrer logs to see how it spreads.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 29-Apr-03 11:26
License to read

Put up a Creative Commons license for this site, so that nobody gets confused about what the rights are. Basically if you want to reuse this material from this web site (yeah, right, what are the odds of THAT happening), you have to give me credit, and ask me for permission for commercial usage. Click on the license logo at far right for more information.

I think Creative Commons is a good idea and should be supported. In this day and age, people need to understand where they stand legally. It's a basic survival tactic, much like learning the difference between the red and green lights.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 29-Apr-03 10:20
OPL goes GPL

Mobitopia reports that Symbian has released their OPL language under the Lesser General Public License. Woo-hoo! Does this mark the first time an industry heavyweight has actually released something under the GNU licenses? Probably not - but this is still very significant. The LGPL does make business sense, though - it effectively prevents others from grabbing the project and using it against you commercially, but allows a lighter development model than proprietary software: OPL is certainly cool enough to be a viable open source project, and thus is likely to gather plenty of support.

I remember writing some stuff in OPL for Psion Series 3. The language is a bit clunky (it's basically BASIC), but it is perfect for making macros and stuff.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 28-Apr-03 14:24
Back

Arrived back to Helsinki finally, and went straight to work, without passing home. Well, no reason, really - SAS lost my luggage, so I had nothing to take home, and I figured I could at least get something useful done until they find it and ship it to me. I even slept on the plane for a few hours, which is probably why I am so lucent right now. Though I seem to have trouble concentrating. And writing long sentences. Perhaps it is because I forgot my headphones on, and got six hours of subliminal blasting of the latest pop charts.

My humble travel kit: a shoulder bag with laptop and a bunch of go books, and a plastic bag with a bottle of 10-year-old Laphroaig single malt whisky. What else could a man possibly need?

(The conference? It was good, very good. Check out the Wired coverage for a short blurb, suitable for bloggers currently suffering from B.A.S.S.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 26-Apr-03 19:57
Good evening

Spent the yesterday evening with Mahlen and Paul in San Francisco and had a great time. As Mahlen said it, it is rare that you can talk all evening about wikis and nobody gets bored. :-) A few good ideas sprung up, though I can't really remember half of them.

Today to go and then I'll return back home. Perhaps I'll catch up with some interesting people today, too.

(On a separate note, the next time I'll come to the States I will try to get in a bit earlier. You always lose the first two days in a strange, jet-lagged haze, and at least for me, talking to people is much easier when you're at least half awake. Typing on the computer - that I can do while asleep. Which is probably evident in some of the JSPWiki source code.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 26-Apr-03 00:26
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours ox^H^HMac

Man, everyone around here has a cool Mac Powerbook. I'm spending far too much time drooling at everyone else's machines... 12" Powerbooks, 15" Powerbooks, even a couple of absolutely stunningly gorgeous 17" Powerbooks. And on top of it all, Mac OS X.

As someone pointed out: people who're running Windows/Linux are missing out on quite a lot of the conference, since Mac users are very actively using Rendezvous and Hydra to do collaborative work, lecture notes, etc.

Ngh. Knife. Wound. Twist.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 25-Apr-03 21:48
Me, discrete?

Darn. My attempt to discrete at the presence of Doc failed miserably. Doc, it was just a bad bagel. Honest. I didn't see it had onion in it.

(And I am not concerned. I am happy. It's just a bit disillusioning to realize you're just a hammer-maker :-).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 25-Apr-03 21:35
Victory to peer-to-peer!

Straight from the ETCon IRC net: Judge says file-swapping is legal.

In an almost complete reversal of previous victories for the record labels and movie studios, federal court Judge Stephen Wilson ruled that Streamcast--parent of the Morpheus software--and Grokster were not liable for copyright infringements that took place using their software.
However, the ruling appeared to state clearly that decentralized peer-to-peer software such as Gnutella is legal, in much the same way that the Sony VCR is protected by law.

I am sure they're going to appeal this one out of existence...

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 25-Apr-03 18:12
Mmmm, bagels

If there is something that I really like about the U.S, it has to be bagels. These amazing little breads contain everything you need to start a day, fill your stomach, and taste good, too.

What I don't understand though is why anyone would want to spoil a perfectly good bagel by putting loads and loads of peanut butter on it...

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 24-Apr-03 18:44
ETCon notes

It seems that quite a lot of people have really embraced Wiki in the same way they have embraced hammers. It is a tool - it creates no big emotions, and it's so simple you can just pick it up and hammer away with it. Weblogs, however, create the big buzz, and everyone and their dog is trying to wrap their brain around the concept and see where this big phenonmenon is taking us.

Of course, as a Wiki author, this saddens me :-). But perhaps they are right - a Wiki works by consensus of a small group, and as such is about as exciting as any committee work. A weblog on the other hand allows any crazed muthafucka to voice his/her opinions as loudly and brashly as if he was in the Hyde Park Speaker's Corner. Wikis are for work, blogging is for the time when you let your hair loose.

(Oo, Doc Searls is sitting next to me. Better not burp.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (2)
Thursday, 24-Apr-03 04:49
ETCon

You know, intelligent discussion and stimulation of your creative nerve do not go too well with sleep deprivation.

Anyway, here I am at the Emerging Technology Conference, who even have their own wiki. I think this is a good way to use a Wiki - it is a collaborative workspace. If anything, this conference has the problem of providing too many collaboration channels, Wiki, IRC, Confab... It is really difficult to follow them all, and they are not really that well profiled so that you could focus on one or two channels.

Cory Doctorow (who is BTW an excellent speaker) has been posting some photographs. I haven't bothered yet - I left my digital camera at home, and the only thing I currently have is the 3650 camera.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 23-Apr-03 05:05
The longest day

Well, here I am, 29 hours later, and it is still my birthday. I am of course in US Pacific time, so technically it's past the midnight back home, but for me the day just keeps going.

Brr. What a flight. I was searched twice, and on the both times they required me to take off my shoes as well. I sort of pity the security guys, having to examine people's shoes all day. On the other hand, getting through U.S. immigration was probably the easiest one yet - they just basically whisked me through, no questions asked.

What a strange day. Perhaps I should get a shower and go exploring. Or something.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 22-Apr-03 00:05
33

Today, I turn 33 years old.

I don't look that old, say my friends, but I am not so sure. I can certainly see it - and feel it.

Mid-life crisis, welcome.

(And I'm going to spend the entire day in the airplane. Whee. The best birthday yet.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 21-Apr-03 16:19
Lorem ipsum dolor sit...

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis autem vel...

No, I did not go mad, though it was close. However, if you've ever seen that text in an ad, or a newspaper and wondered what on Earth is going on, check out loremipsum.net. This phrase has 2000 years of history, and over 400 years of tradition with the typesetting industry.

Tradition is cool. I wonder how much of the things that we see in everyday life have roots dating back hundreds or thousands of years?

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (2)
Sunday, 20-Apr-03 23:02
Stop the press

Hey, I did IPO on BlogShares! Wow! This fast! I was certainly expecting to take a bit longer.

I am currently valued at $1,118.47.

This warms my little geeky heart, for reasons that are probably unfathomable to most other kinds of intelligent life in this universe. But this is just so cool :-).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 20-Apr-03 22:55
Phew - need sleep

I just returned from the Go Nordic Championships. I was a bit too busy all weekend playing, talking, etc. For some reason I did not feel like blogging at all - though I think it is just a temporary overdose of blogging. It's gonna take more than that to stop me =).

Now I am rather drained. You know, normally you never realize how much energy your brain uses, but after the games today everyone was ready to eat a horse. Which we possibly did - the kebab place we went to afterwards did look a bit suspicious.

(How did I do? Lousy - I lost a game after which even my opponent said he has never been so pissed off at winning a game before. It was a classic case of complete situational blindness from both players, and we both made mistakes after mistakes after compound mistakes after cardinal mistakes after game-losing-mistakes. Then again, at least our games are always entertaining. Not perhaps to the players, but definitely to the viewers.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 17-Apr-03 22:11
Could I have fries with that? Oh, they're in there already.

Todays scientific experiment: How to mince a hamburger.

(Warning, the images you find on that page may be a bit ... disturbing.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (6)
Thursday, 17-Apr-03 21:36
Ping?

I'll very likely be in the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference in Santa Clara, CA next week. If any JSPWiki hackers or users happen to be there in the Silicon Valley area at the same time, drop me some email, and let's go have a beer or something.

Update: The conference is in Santa Clara, not Santa Barbara. Women. Who can keep track of them. :-)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 17-Apr-03 14:24
Stock market speculation

I registered this blog on the BlogShares. I don't know whether that was a smart thing to do (it should at least cure me of the belief that this blog is of any significance), but hey - it's all about learning :-).

Since I don't have an automatic weblogs.com ping, I had to do that manually. I wonder if I have to ping it every time to get the ~BlogShares to fetch my blog?

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 16-Apr-03 22:02
F0r th3 l33t

Ju5t in c453 U got SERIOU5LY suxxor hair, take a look at the pic. Click on it to get a bigger, better, badder (and above all, readable) version.

Finally, the makers of the personal hygiene products are targeting the crowd that needs them the most :-).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 15-Apr-03 18:50
~WikiWeblogKitchen

The Weblog Kitchen seems to have some interesting discussions starting up about Wikis, WebLogs and other groupware apps. It certainly seems a bit more research-oriented than other discussions I've seen, and most of the right people seem to be there. Looks good, here's your thumbs-up for search engines :-).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 15-Apr-03 17:33
Iraq for sale

Contracting by USAID For Reconstruction of Iraq:

...for capital construction including bridge, road and port rehabilitation and repair; seaport administration; airport administration; public health; primary and secondary education; local governance; theater logistical support and personnel support.
USAID chose to limit competition -- in full compliance with the FAR -- for these Iraq reconstruction contracts to certain U.S. companies...

So it wasn't a war after all - it was a hostile takeover by a rival corporation. The similarities are quite striking, don't you think?

(Apologies to anyone who lost a family member or friend in the war. Thanks to Syksy for the link.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 15-Apr-03 13:29
WikiEngines compared

David Mattison writes about Wikis as a PIM and Collaborative Content Tool. Good stuff, very thorough (it even mentions my own JSPWiki, yay!), and definitely worth a read if you need a crash course in Wikis, what options there are, and how to use them.

Link via Ross Mayfield, who also has some interesting pointers to a recent survey which says that weblogs are not even a blip in the radar for most Americans.

But unlike many attempts in the big internet hype a couple of years back, weblogging does not require significant capital investments to get huge, so it can afford to grow slow.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 15-Apr-03 08:09
Auroras from space

Ever wonder how the auroras look from space? The Astronomy Picture of the day will show you.

It's a good site - lots of beautiful pictures.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 14-Apr-03 20:10
Aggression control

Yes, now who would you kill on the Teletubbies? What I am finding totally incomprehensible is that how do people tell them apart enough to decide that Po and Tinky Winky are the two most hated individuals? Even over the psychotic vacuum cleaner?

Hm. Perhaps it is because Po is the smallest one and Tinky Winky carries a hand bag... Maybe people have some sort of an repressed urge against small hand bag -carrying creatures?

(Check out the other WWYKs as well. Link via Dave Barry).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 14-Apr-03 19:47
But it's so easy...

Janka has a point. A very sharp - if you excuse the pun - point. It just so happens that I am observing one such bad case of belittlement occurring at a closer range than I would like. To me it seems that things like jealousy, and frustration at one's own lack of success play a big part in it. Sometimes it's just sheer maliciousness - "nip the bud of innovation just because you like the crushed look on the little guy's face".

For some reason, these days it just makes people look so... transparent.

I think the Aussies call it the tall poppy syndrome.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 14-Apr-03 15:04
Aggregator change

I got tired of the bugginess of Newsmonster - for example, after a few iterations it still cannot decode RSS with non-ASCII correctly, and reading Finnish weblogs was always a guess - and switched to NNTP//RSS, the coolest thing since, well... I want to say sliced bread, but that's not really very cool anymore, is it?

Of course, I couldn't find any way to export my blogroll from Newsmonster (and even its storage format is some binary bubblebobble), so I had to copy my entries by hand. Damn.

NNTP//RSS seems to play very nicely - provides import/export, posting, history... All through your friendly newsreader app. Looks very nice, too.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 13-Apr-03 21:57
Flied lice

What does the intelligent person do when suffering from a cold? He, of course, goes to cooking class. Luckily the chef had also the cold, so I guess our viruses got all evened out.

For those who are looking for the deep thoughts and radiant flashes of imagination instead of my "barber^Wcooking blog", sod off. The rest, consider this:

I am currently being quite intrigued by this opportunity to write a photojournal. I've usually hated taking pictures, and even when I bought a digital camera, I still don't lug it around as much as I probably should. I don't document anniversaries or weddings, but I do photograph scenery and some personal events, though I am not really a photographer.

Now, the availability of a cheap digital camera that is continuously with me all the time, and an easy way to blog it all makes suddenly the threshold of blogging far, far less than what it used to be. Consider normal blogs: 90% of them are crap, as suggested by Sturgeon's Law. Which is fine and as it should be - I couldn't be bothered to read most weblogs and most people really don't want to read mine. But still, they have created some enormous successes, and brought a whole new kind of authorship in existence.

I think photoblogging is going to go the same way: 90% of them are going to be incredible crap. But really, some of them will become something new and grand, and enable new kinds of journalism, or community creation, or hate groups, or ways of voicing out your political views, or something else totally. Hard to say. We just need to find those individuals or groups who have the urge to do something cool and creative and give them the tools.

It's bloody addictive, anyway.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 13-Apr-03 02:05
No outside for me

Well, inevitably I managed to catch the flu that has been running around, and have spent the last two days indoors. It has been good for JSPWiki development, though, and I've been playing plenty of go, but still two days is quite enough, thankyouverymuch.

JSPWiki authorization is now at such a stage that I get constantly a message saying

 No default policy has been defined!

which is really a good thing. Shows that almost everything is running okay under the hood. The trouble is, I've got this nice access control system, but no way of adding users yet :-).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 10-Apr-03 19:44
The future of the Internet

Hooray! This is the future: the ability to let everyone on the internet know exactly what you are drinking at any given moment, and where (William K on Flemari, if you want to join me).

(The image is staged, in case you are wondering: I do not use Windows CE... :-)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 10-Apr-03 01:24
Beautiful Helsinki

Here's a small pic of Helsinki today evening. Notice the general dullness.

(Update: What makes this image so special? Because I just blogged the whole entry directly from my cell phone using the MetaWeblogAPI and some procmail+~JavaMail magic. Well, I am adding this comment manually because I don't want to type very much on the cell phone keyboard, T9 or no T9. Now, what else we can do with this? :-)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 10-Apr-03 01:00
A very short JSPWiki update

Just dropped in the first incarnation of the JSPWiki metaWeblog API in CVS. Hm. Guess where I'm posting this entry from :-).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 09-Apr-03 17:59
Stupid security competition
The third item was a dual quarter pound cellophane wrapped cardboard package of loose leaf Chinese tea. Unfortunately, it was of a well known variety known as Gunpowder Tea, and had this printed on the packaging.
Obviously this was of such importance, that, despite already forcing the passenger to check his hand bag as hold luggage, it was decided that the tea was allowed, but that the evil word "Gunpowder" was not. Consequently the security staff then rummaged around (thereby delaying me and the rest of the queue) and found a plastic bag into which they decanted the fragrant tea leaves, and confiscated the cardboard packaging!

This, and other completely stupid security measures, along with some extraordinary invasions of privacy can be found at Privacy International's Stupid Security Competition.

Worried about the new Helsinki travel cards? In Bornholm, Denmark, you have to prove your identity via a fingerprint each time you use the ferry.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 08-Apr-03 18:36
A bit of personal reflection

Tuesday late afternoons are good for personal reflection, which is why I updated my personal page with the (un)usual 20 questions as well as putting my thoughts on paper on why am I writing in English instead of Finnish.

Why Tuesdays? Because I've started to play badminton on Tuesdays, and at this point of the evening I am far too tired to do anything really coherent. :-/

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 08-Apr-03 10:48
JSPWiki development update

Yesterday, I spent most of the evening watching Eyes Wide Shut, which frankly was a disappointment. I was somehow expecting a tighter drama, thanks to the hype a few years back.

Simultaneously, I was coding something cool for JSPWiki [1]: We now have a partly functional MetaWeblogAPI. It's not in the CVS yet, but should probably arrive later this week when I clean it up a bit and add some safety checks. Why am I doing that instead of importing the JSPWiki:JSPWikiAccessControl? Because a) it's cool to work on this code, and I sometimes need to work on cool stuff, and b) I have something else that is cool up my sleeve, which I am not yet telling you about :-).

Of course, the MetaWeblogAPI does require functional user authentication to work in a satisfying manner... So this is a good time to bring that in and see how we can tie those together nicely.

[#1] I tend to do this occasionally. When you have the image of the program you're after clear in your mind, coding it becomes nearly an automated process. Other people can knit while watching TV... I write code :-).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 06-Apr-03 21:52
Japan Day

Happy go players
Today, I've spent most of my day teaching go to newcomers, talking (six hours straight), standing (six hours straight), and hitting my head to the ceiling that was far too low. Take a look at the kid in the picture - she kept playing and playing and playing... Good fun :-). And the people seemed to enjoy it too.

Hm. My head seems to be bleeding a little bit. Perhaps a hit too many?

(For those that are following JSPWiki development: Notice the new Image plugin in action. It allows you to have a much finer control over the layout of the image than what used to be possible.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 06-Apr-03 00:26
Wooooooooooooooo, colors.

What a strange feeling. Dulljoysatisfactionhappinesspininglonelytiredamuseddrunkwoozythirstycoldheadachy-ish.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 04-Apr-03 12:33
Splish splash

A new version of the classic song: this time in Flash. Enjoy.

(Via Aula).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 04-Apr-03 11:48
Shrug

I haven't been up to much these days. Maybe tomorrow. Not that it matters. Not much on my mind worth mentioning, but what can I say? That's how it is. Pfft.

The previous entry courtesy of The Apathetic Online Journal Entry Generator. No longer you have to generate your own blog entries - this software will do it for you! (Via Jeremy Zawodny)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 04-Apr-03 11:36
Navigare necessere and so on

I finally managed to put month changing buttons to the top right calendar. Thanks to RoyW for the help.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 04-Apr-03 00:24
My life achievements so far

I know, I know... It's sad when you comment on the different searches people run on Google, but I would just like to point out that I am #10 for "strange and ugly people", as well as being the #35 authority on butts. It is my earnest desire to become the worlds leading expert on butts, and especially those that are of the ugly kind (#16!).

Man. I need a life. Quick.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 03-Apr-03 18:28
Trek's end?

Finally saw Star Trek - Nemesis yesterday.

What a depressingly bad movie. Don't get me wrong - I am a huge fan of Trek, mostly Next Generation and Deep Space 9, and some of the movies, but the new Trek is simply bad.

There are so many places to complain about (mediocre special effects for one), but I guess that the biggest gripe about the whole movie is the fact that it underestimates the viewers so badly. In many places it just seemed like "well, we need to put a stupid fight here because the audience expects it" or something, but they were entirely irrelevant to the plot. Come on, most of the people who grew up with the Next Generation are now in their thirties - HEL-LO! We need a bit more than cool guns, big spaceships and a naked Deanna Troi (who seems to have aged not-so-gracefully) to be interested in a movie. Seriously. We grew up, why didn't the producers?

This movie finally breaks the even-odd -cycle of ST movies: Traditionally, all of the even ones were okay, and the odd ones were bad. This is number ten, and it is, frankly, hard to think of anything positive about it (aside from the strong performances of Patrick Stewart and Tom Hardy).

I didn't expect much, but... I didn't, frankly, get much either.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 03-Apr-03 11:36
A major JSPWiki milestone has been reached

Yes, it's true. I have been informed that someone else than me has now seen dreams about JSPWiki. This is truly one of the milestones in the life of every programmer.

I am impressed, surprised, amused, and scared.

:-)

(On a separate note, it's snowing here again. Grrh.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 02-Apr-03 13:37
Russell, the Mover. Russell, the Shaker.

Russell Beattie is being haunted by one of his old rants. He has some very good points about weblogs and the problems they're facing as they "grow up", so to say:

I wonder if weblogs are at this weird turning point that television was in the 50s when people took everything that was said on television as fact? Seriously - before just recently, to have a popular web site that was highly ranked on Google, you needed to be a major news corporation or some hot-shot funded dot-com startup. But now any shmoe like me can rant and it has this big effect. Look. Imagine this: I'm this guy. Greying and getting fat. Sitting in a small one bedroom apartment in not-particularly-special corner of Madrid. Typing on my 3 year old laptop. In my shorts. I work in a non-particularly-special job doing not-particuarly-special work. There is nothing about my words that should carry any real weight... are you getting the picture?

But Russell - the problem is, you are saying something special. And you say it well. If you weren't, people weren't linking to you... And really, we are all just shmoes - even the tiniest difference will lift you above the crowd. Accept it, you are on your way to being a real influencer of the mobile world.

Good luck :-).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 01-Apr-03 19:48
Small wonderings

How come...

  • I can't seem to be able to type my password correctly these days?
  • I am still at work at 19:30?
  • Playing badminton for the first time in nearly three years made my thighs hurt, but not my ass?
  • When someone wants to loan a DVD from you "in a couple of days", they never come to get the DVD, until the very next day after you've loaned it to someone else?
  • I can read legalese these days as well as I read comic books or technical manuals?
  • Some people still insist that any version of Netscape still has the same bugs as Netscape 4?
  • My email folders keep growing, and growing, and growing?
  • I can send 200 emails per hour, but it takes me weeks to get a simple item mailed through the post office?
  • Some people are so incredibly transparent, but they never realize it?
  • Some people simply cannot be understood, no matter how hard you try?

These questions, and more, will not be resolved in the next week's edition of ButtUgly!

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 01-Apr-03 14:04
Blogtalk, take II

The first European conference on weblogs, blogtalk has announced their lineup of speakers. It does look quite interesting, as most of the driving forces behind weblogs come from the US. This could be a good opportunity for the budding European weblog community. Too bad they do not yet have the program available, just the speakers.

I'll comfort myself by saying that the sieve must've been tight - only one third of the proposals did not get through. Mine included. :-/

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 31-Mar-03 12:54
And what's your excuse?

A guy gets caught doing inside trading at the stock exchange. His explanation? He is from the future, and "was caught in the moment".

Well, time-travel is certainly theoretically possible... :-)

(Thanks to Mike for the link.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 31-Mar-03 11:49
Summertime, and the living is easy...

So we move into summer time, or Daylight Savings Time, as some people call it.

And what do we get this morning? Snow.

Gotta love this country.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 30-Mar-03 21:55
There's still room behind the sauna...

You know... the people who designed the Java security model should probably be taught a lesson or two. There are two incompatible (and not to mention incomprehensible) security architectures in JDK 1.4. Both attempt to be as general as possible, but still they are loaded with the all sorts of odd assumptions which make them generally unsuitable for any web service work.

It's no wonder anyone building a webapp framework always implements their own permission/security scheme. And even these are totally incompatible.

Grr. The integration of ebu's auth code into JSPWiki may take a while - I just would like to use as much as possible of existing JDK code, but it seems too difficult.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 29-Mar-03 22:56
More load testing

Note to self: When doing load testing, make damned sure that there is someone with physical access to the machine, when it finally locks up.

Apologies to anyone who tried to access any services on this server.

(On a more positive note, a very nice guy named Paul is willing to sponsor us jspwiki.org for the JSPWiki engine. Thanks heaps!)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 29-Mar-03 17:52
Load testing

Hm. Found a very nice little tool called Jakarta JMeter for stress testing a website. In case this site seems a bit slow, it's probably because I am mercilessly pounding on it :-).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 28-Mar-03 17:07
And now for something completely different...

Well, it's Friday, and you're going out to have a hangover in the morning. Don't forget to check out this perfect little Flash game, since it is ideally suited for those mornings when you just want to stare at something inoffensive. A sound card highly recommended.

(Thanks to Mikael for this link.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 28-Mar-03 14:38
We don't want your stinking liberty

If you are a fiercely patriotic American, you just cannot pass this opportunity to give the Statue of Liberty back to the French.

There are just so many layers of irony here, it's damn near art. Actually, I think that USA should give the Lady Liberty back to the French - that would be so symbolic of them giving up their liberty, day by day, inch by inch.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 28-Mar-03 12:45
Corporate sponsorship of politicians is bad, mmmkay?

I mean, how transparent can you get?

Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican who just happens to represent the corner of California where Qualcomm's headquarters is located, believes that company's technology must be used in Iraq's post-war cell phone system. And Qualcomm just happens to be one of Issa's top 10 corporate donors in the last election.
Issa introduced a bill this week to bar Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM)--a cellular technology used in many European nations and to a lesser extent in the United States--from being considered in the rebuilding of Iraq.
By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 26-Mar-03 23:41
It's better to fly at night

I went to Oulu yesterday. You know, work-related stuff. On the flight there, they served a (very) small meal, a little bun with tiniest slices of salami you've ever seen, a miniature can of orange juice and so on. You've all eaten airline meals, you know what I'm talking about.

A bright ray of the sun was peeking curiously into the aircraft, as I ripped open the bag and sank my teeth into the bun. I guess the bread was a bit dry, because suddenly a large cloud of flour and breadcrumbs appeared in front of my face.

Then the air circulation kicked in.

WHOOSH!

The entire cloud landed squarely on the lap of the person sitting next to me.

I couldn't believe my eyes. I - much more carefully this time - took another bite, and observed.

WHOOSH!

Again the cloud flew towards my hapless fellow being. I have no idea whether she noticed what had happened. I didn't dare to look that way. I bent over the tray and tried to consume the rest of the bun so that most of the dust cloud would land on myself or the tray, trying to look inconspicious, but it probably looked like I was trying to throw up into my coffee cup.

We didn't talk the rest of the journey.

(And think about it: the only reason I noticed the cloud was because of the bright sunlight. Think about it next time when you eat something, or the person next to you is eating something - you could be surrounded by a cloud of his leftovers, and you would never know...)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 24-Mar-03 14:34
Revolution is not an AOL keyword

Through ~InfoAnarchy: Revolution is not an AOL keyword.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 24-Mar-03 08:49
CD "copy" protection

As Merten noticed the sound quality in these new, copy-protected CD's is crap, if you play it on a computer.

I also bought a new CD last week - a tune got stuck in my head, and I figured, I might as well test these new copy protection systems and rip them to ogg vorbis, my choice of digital audio. Well, it turns out, that

  • a copy protection does not prevent ripping the disk at all, and
  • the sound quality is better, if you rip it.

No, I have no explanation for the better sound quality. Perhaps CDParanoia (the ripping software I use) can correct the errors or something. So, here we have a copy protection system that encourages people to make copies of the disks, because that way they sound better. Isn't that sort of the opposite what the record companies were aiming for?

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 23-Mar-03 23:27
Five.

Managed to beat today the two strongest players in Finland (with handicap, of course), and got an upgrade to 5 kyu. Whee!

Let that be my barber-story for today.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 23-Mar-03 12:24
Writing documentation is... not fun

But I did it anyway, and now JSPWiki 2.0 stable has been released! Rejoice!

I did the conscious decision to keep new features out, and mostly even bugfixes, and concentrate on writing documentation. It's still not pretty, but it's better than what it used to be.

Now, I can concentrate on all the cool stuff people have been sending my way - with the priority towards authentication.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 21-Mar-03 13:19
Transformers return

Heh. The US have a Transformer in their army. They must be feeling invincible about now.

(Link via Dave Barry.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 20-Mar-03 18:13
Not good

I am not much in the mood for blogging today. The war seems to spread everywhere: there are heated discussions all around; live and in IRC, street and home. Depressing times these are.

One thing is for certain: The biggest loser in this war will be the USA - their reputation has been already, irrevocably tarnished, regardless of the outcome of the war. Even if the Coalition forces found clear evidence of forbidden weapons, people would just say that US troops planted them there. It is just a question of how big their loss will be.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 19-Mar-03 15:38
The Kevin Bacon game

The fine students at University of Virginia have taken all the fun out of the "Six Degrees to Kevin Bacon" -game.

Link any two actors to each other, and discover interesting things... Did you know that Kylie Minogue has a Tauno Palo number of 3, or that Mira Furlan has a Takeshi Kitano number of 3?

In fact, it seems that I am hard-pressed to find any link longer than 3... Who can find the longest link?

Update: Please put your findings on this page. It's a Wiki, so you can just go there and edit the page.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 19-Mar-03 13:33
The 101 Dumbest Moments in Business

Business 2.0 has collected the most stupid (albeit very US-centric) mistakes of the year 2002. Some of these are quite fun:

http://www.business2.com/articles/mag/0,1640,47750,00.html

Here's an excerpt:

Panic in the heartland, part 1: The crisis begins.

Outside a Wal-Mart (WMT) in the small town of Geneseo, Ill., a 73-year-old woman buys a newspaper and suddenly finds herself trapped when the door of the news rack slips closed and catches her coat. Unable to wriggle out, she solicits a bystander to enter the Wal-Mart and ask for help. A Wal-Mart employee comes out to explain that she can't assist, citing a policy against tampering with the news rack.

Panic in the heartland, part 2: The tense negotiation.

After going back inside for a moment, the Wal-Mart employee comes out and tells the trapped woman that she'll call the newspaper and have a representative come to release her. The woman suggests an alternative solution: Somebody could simply put two quarters in the machine and open the damn door. The Wal-Mart employee rejects this out of hand, explaining that the store can't pay refunds for the news rack.
By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 19-Mar-03 12:11
Go, Robin Cook

Happened to catch this live on BBC World. Robin Cook resigns from the British government after one of the best speeches I have ever heard.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 18-Mar-03 13:02
Unit testing

From SnipSnap: I've been programming for more than 20 years from machine code (A0 FF) to Prolog, from line editing to CASE tools. The only thing that really change my relationship with software development are unit tests. It changed the way I think about my programms, I'm much more confident in what I do.

Right on!

Rigorous Unit Testing has really increased both my productivity, and my confidence in the code I write. I can now refactor stuff that previously I would've not dared to touch without fearing that everything will break.

Someone sends in a bug report - I write a Unit Test to test for it, and I don't have to worry about that bug ever surfacing again. I think of a new feature - I write a Unit Test to check its correctness before even I start writing the code.

Unit Tests also function as a sort of a development log: you see what kind of problems you typically have, and what kind of things you tend to test the most, which reveals interesting things about your coding habits and weak points.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 17-Mar-03 16:31
Japanese innovation

Remember skirts painted to be see-through? Well, you can do it with t-shirts, too.

(Via forge, through IRC.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 17-Mar-03 16:13
A bit more go, then I'll shut up

...right. Anyway, here's a good article about the game from the Seattle Go Center. Incidentally, I have a bunch of pictures from there, if you'd like a deeper look.

Here's a nice panorama:

http://www.ecyrd.com/~jalkanen/2002/Seattle/.webpics/SeattleGoCenterPanorama.jpg

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 17-Mar-03 14:47
The era of peace is finally over

The Onion misses often, but this old article from 2001 borders on precognition:

Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over

(Thanks to Back to Iraq 2.0 for the link.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 16-Mar-03 21:08
Victory!

Another tournament over, and a happy feeling: no losses (three wins, one draw). Unfortunately, I had to be elsewhere for the last two rounds, so I was not able to see whether I could have done any better. But still, 14th place with only four games against everyone else's six games is not a bad result. I am satisfied.

The moment of enlightenment I mentioned earlier seems to have been for real, and not just a temporary chemical imbalance in the brain :-).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 15-Mar-03 09:41
Morning musings

Waking up early in the morning during springtime, walking outside sniffing the cool morning air (and it is cool over here, 2 degrees C), the sun barely above the horizon making the shadows long... I always get a deja-vu to the time I was in the army. For the first few months, the first item of the day was always a run around something. Usually something far away.

Anyway, this is perhaps why I have a love-hate relationship towards mornings: I like the quiet and stillness before the morning rush, but I always feel like I am back on the small island somewhere in the Baltic Sea.

(Another go tournament starting today. This time, I get to play. Yay!)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 14-Mar-03 17:18
Liquid water on Mars?

From BBC: Water 'flows' on Mars

Where there is liquid water, and heat, life may emerge. Did you know that the estimated price tag for a trip to Mars is roughly $20 billion? This is about 100 times less than the price tag of the Iraq war. Even with NASA running the show, they could not overrun the budget that badly...

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 14-Mar-03 16:56
War blogging

From Wired: A journalist goes to Iraq, armed with satellite phones and laptops, and attempts to blog the whole thing.

Pick up his RSS feed here.

(It remains to be seen how openly he gets to do this, though... Things may change rapidly if the war starts for real.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 13-Mar-03 23:53
JSPWiki development update

For those of my visitors who are following it: Lately, I've been mostly involved writing documentation for JSPWiki, so that I can release a stable version. If you are interested in using JSPWiki, download the latest CVS version, since it is very near complete. Its documentation is getting better all the time =).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 13-Mar-03 15:34
Complex systems fail in complex ways

We have been having some problems with the stability of Tomcat, mod_jk and Apache on this server. Apologies for any inconviniences. We're trying to fix things as much as we can, but we frankly have little idea as to what is really going on: The Java Virtual Machine just dies at irregular intervals with signal 11.

More information at JSPWiki:NativeCodeThreadError.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 12-Mar-03 18:03
Revelations

I may have actually understood something yesterday about what is wrong with my go. I shall need to ponder upon this. Strange feeling... Usually, understanding is such a gradual process that you may not realize it until later on. But a sudden flash of intuition and deeper understanding comes so rarely, that it is difficult to recognize it as one.

(BTW, I have voted. Do the same. And please stop shoving these advertisements for the candidates at my face. You can't influence me anymore, nyah.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 10-Mar-03 16:08
The best blog

The winner of the Best Weblog category of 2003: Little Yellow Different. Good stuff, thumbs up :-).

(Read the story of when Ernie was in Weakest Link. LOL.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 10-Mar-03 15:54
Scouring through the referrer logs

Thanks, mate. Being a Finn ain't that cool, though. Except in the winter time, when it is too cool :-)

(I seem to have quitely passed the 20,000 hit limit in a tad over three months, of which around 11,000 are genuine page requests. Thank you, my readers, and everyone coming in from Google, searching for "butt ugly faces" or "butt ugly people" :-). BTW, I am ninth on the Google search for ugly but interesting.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 10-Mar-03 12:42
Blogging fever only a mild case of flu anymore?

Many of the blogs I read have started to show signs of tiredness lately. Blog entries are becoming shorter, or erratic. Especially with those blogs that are closer to personal diaries, the content seems to grow thinner day by day.

However, blogs more at the weblogging end of the scale seem to be doing well. Witness the coolest thing in a while: Mobitopia. Technology is maturing, and new innovations seem to be built on the basic roadblocks that have already been around for a while: RSS, XML-RPC, etc. For example, there is now the Roogle RSS search engine for searching RSS feeds. Google news is another shining example on the power of weblogging (being a kind of meta-weblog itself).

Of course, personal diaries are not going away, far from it. People have a need for self-expression. But their usefulness is limited, and I don't see much potential for growth and innovation there. This mirrors the situation in the early days of the Web, when everyone just had to have their own personal web page, but it never really got any further than that. Personal content kickstarted the Web, but all of the really interesting innovation happened afterwards. Perhaps the same thing is happening now: personal content is driving weblogs, but soon all of the innovation will come elsewhere.

Who knows. Interesting times these are.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 10-Mar-03 10:44
More laptop envy

Sharp's new ultralite notebooks certainly seem to be targeted at the mobile traveller. Actius MM10 - weighing about a kilo - and RD-10 - at 1.4 kilos - sound very tempting. My previous laptop is a Sharp as well, and unfortunately their after-sales support is dismal. But the machines are good. If I could buy a Mac with this spec, I would not hesitate.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 08-Mar-03 22:59
Main_blogentry_080303_1
She's gone. Again.

It was good to have someone in the house, even for a while.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 07-Mar-03 15:34
Russell wants to be #1

Russell Beattie wants to be #1 Russell. Since he's a good guy and posts and discovers an insane amount of interesting stuff, I've gotta help him :-). Google, here you go!

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 06-Mar-03 17:04
I would like to have an argument, please

...but they're bloody difficult to do these days, since all you need to do is to access Google to check who is correct.

What will happen when Google is available to every cell phone, and you can check the slightest trivia with a few key taps? You have just started a nice argument around the table, and then the party geek suddenly kills all conversation by quoting some obscure study directly off the net.

We'll lose so much... :-)

But then again, maybe we can start working on producing new information and new things instead of arguing over things that have already been investigated. On the other hand, even with all this new technology, people seem to be still keen on repeating history.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 05-Mar-03 14:12
Better Wesley than Wesley

Fun. I pick up this test from Wil Wheaton's blog, who ended up being a Cardassian spy. Of course, I would be Wesley Crusher:

Myers-Briggs would say that you are an ISTP (Introvert, Sensor, Thinker, Perceiver). In Star Trek language, you share a basic personality configuration with Odo and Wesley Crusher.
People like you are generally extremely logical and pragmatic, to the point of being somewhat aloof. When you need to be, you can function in a highly objective and unemotional manner, but you also tend to be impulsive and incredibly curious about the world around you. You love to explore, to find out how things work, and you believe you have the abilities needed to deal with what you find.
You don't feel the need to tell others about your abilities. You like your work to show your stuff for you, so you tend to be quiet and unassuming in your manner. You are also flexible and resourceful. You do your best work when left alone. You're highly self-reliant, and may have some trouble working as a member of a team. You cannot stand people who nag or who demand to know what you're feeling when you don't feel like "sharing" right now.
Your primary goal in life is being granted the freedom to act independently and follow your impulses. Your reward is to be appreciated for your ability to solve problems and to have others go along with your impulses and have fun with you.
Good careers for your type include being a computer programmer, police officer, commercial pilot, commercial artist, private investigator, and animal trainer.
By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 05-Mar-03 13:54
03-03-03

Two things about the date (even though the date is gone): First of all, I was trying to configure a new software, and it was using some sort of a strange US date format. So, I go to Preferences, and try to set it to our normal dd/mm/yy. I am presented with these options:

Please choose your date format

  • 03/03/03
  • 03/03/03
  • 03/03/03
  • 03/03/03
  • 03-03-03
  • 03-03-03
  • 03-03-03
  • 03-03-03

Um. Err. Do I actually have to wait for a frigging day to figure out which one of these is the day and a whole month to figure out which one is the month? This kind of a configuration might have been useful in the last century, but certainly not now... Well, at least I can choose whether I want to have a dash or a slash as the separator :-).

The other thing: when my (probably never-to-appear) grandchildren ask what I did on this grand day, at 3:03, I can tell them that I was sitting on the toilet. Hooray for magic dates.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 05-Mar-03 10:17
Busy, but not dancing

A business trip can really sap your strength; so no blogging yesterday. Had good fun on Monday evening though...

But it's a good thing that there are still people who have too much time, and the Internet which allows you to publish the fruits of your creativity. Meet Dancing Paul.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 03-Mar-03 14:26
Dumb item of the day, which is yet oddly useful
By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 02-Mar-03 14:19
Sunday morning musings

Whee! My sister is now happily married :-). Spent most of yesterday in a coma-like state talking to relatives. I had to excuse myself early, after the cake had been cut so that I could get to the hotel and grab some sleep.

On the other hand, it wasn't that bad. Some of the conversations I had were not very pleasant (most of them were, but some of them weren't). I had to bite my tongue a couple of times so that I wouldn't have hurt anyone's feelings too badly. With relatives, anger can quickly grow out of proportion.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 01-Mar-03 02:38
The life of the Open Source developer is not always horrible

You know, getting an email like this always makes you feel a bit better about life and stuff:

  Dear Janne Jalkanen,

  thanks for building this JSP-Wiki.
  It really changed my life!

  Greast Job!!!

  Keep on and kind regards from Germany

Mails like these come rarely, but when they do, they really do light up your day :-).

BTW, I am changing the JSPWiki license to the Lesser GPL, so that people can more easily embed JSPWiki code into their own things. It's a sort of a compromise between the forced sharing of GPL, and the free-for-all attitude of the Apache License - I want JSPWiki to be useful to people, but I also do feel that the Free Software Foundation does have the right idea. Yes, this is very wishy-washy :-).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (2)
Friday, 28-Feb-03 18:44
Blog Talk

Ken Liu reminded me that a comment feature on this blog would be useful. Yeah, I have in fact a fully functional comment facility for JSPWiki lying around my hard drive right now, but I haven't yet decided what to do about it. It's a bit awkward... I'll open up a bit of discussion at JSPWiki:CommentingIdeas.

BTW, I submitted a paper to BlogTalk. We'll see what happens =).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 26-Feb-03 18:04
Random thought about go

Something strange: after an intensive game, I forget sometimes which side I played on. I can (mostly) replay a game from memory these days, and I can certainly quote you the result ("black wins by 2.5 points"), but I can't tell whether I played black or white.

How's that for a selective memory?

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 26-Feb-03 16:30
Mathematics, the art

Math World contains all sorts of cool, geeky math stuff. I could spend days there :-). For example, see Recreational Mathematics for illusions and puzzles.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 25-Feb-03 18:28
Device rant

I would like to continue yesterday's rant. What I think that it is amazing that the Linux kernel driver management still looks like a ghost from the 1970s. Would it really be that difficult to define a common ABI for drivers, so that drivers would at least be compatible with a major version of the kernel?

I mean - why do I have to recompile a bunch of modules just because I am bumping the kernel revision from 2.4.18 to 2.4.20? Why is there an arcane command-line interface like "insmod" and "rmmod"? Why, oh why, there is an /etc/modules.conf? Why can't I just drag-n-drop a driver in a certain directory, and have it work automatically? BeOS did this - so did AmigaOS - and the latter was developed in the early 80s...

I know that the current approach in Linux does allow a great degree of flexibility and customization (if you don't need something, then just don't compile it), but as Linux becomes more mainstream, someone's gotta make this thing easier. You can't expect the distro owners to do all the work for you - when a problem arises, someone's gonna call your friendly neighbourhood geek and ask him to make it all right again. But the problem is, you can't really train people in the subtle intricasies of module management, unless they really want to, so the geek is going to have to do it again, and again, and again. Teaching someone to double-click a driver installation package is much, much easier than teaching them to recompile a kernel.

Grr. People do buy new hardware, and even if a manufacturer would like to support Linux, they cannot - even if they wanted to - provide a simple-to-install driver package. Can you imagine what kind of trouble that gives to the tech support? ("Hello, I would like to install your new scanner. But it says that I have to recompile the kernel? What is a kernel? Is it in the vegetable or the frozen goods section at k-mart?) Why would any H/W manufacturer to support Linux... Unless they get their HW supported by Linux kernel. Which means that everyone has to recompile, yet again, when they get their new device.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 25-Feb-03 01:42
Thought for the darkest hour

Have you ever noticed that when you start to recompile the Linux kernel in the evening, something always goes wrong and you just have to work for hours and hours into the night to get the system running; but when you do it during the day, it always goes through without a hitch?

(I just wanted to get ACPI running properly, but all I managed to do was to lose my sound and my graphics card drivers for X. Which was to be expected.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 24-Feb-03 14:51
The new Lindows laptop

$799 for this. Cheap like soap (and runs KDE from the looks of it =). Seriously, this is pretty much what I've been looking for (except that it's not a Mac). Where can I buy one in Europe?

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 24-Feb-03 14:42
Swing and why I hate it

Well, yes, I hate Swing. I think it is an overengineered monstrosity that has been spawned by some evil elder god to be unleashed upon the fragile little minds of innocent geeks.

Read more at the Blogging Roller. While the story's truthfulness is congested, it does summarize my feelings nicely =).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 24-Feb-03 02:20
Tiredblogging

Phew. What a weekend. In short order: Entertained guests from US, shopped for stuff (which I didn't find), played go (alas, only a little), released a beta of JSPWiki (calm down, I already blogged this), went to two house-warming parties (thanks to the hosts: 'twas fun), chased three chess clocks around town, introduced a door, some duct tape, and a late Christmas present to each other (don't ask), learned how to play Chinese Chess, checked out a new "restaurant", socialized, socialized a bit more (but with different people), watched The Two Towers again (it actually gets better on second viewing, but I kept wondering which parts have been cut and which we're going to see in the upcoming extended edition), watched Eddie Izzard yet again (Circle is not his best, but good fun nevertheless), drank extremely good sake (yay!), and had fun in general.

The only thing I didn't do was the document I was supposed to write this weekend. :-)

Oo, ObLink: Rami found this very nice site of political satires in Flash.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 22-Feb-03 00:43
New version of JSPWiki

I just put together a new release of JSPWiki, v2.0.32. I am still calling this a beta, since it has not yet received any testing. If it turns out to be stable enough, I will make a stable release next.

I know, I know. The documentation still sucks, and there are unit tests that are failing, but we'll probably have to ignore those if we ever want to get this thing released. It's not like they're fatal or anything.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 21-Feb-03 16:18
How to pick a programming language

As usual, Slashdot contains deep insight into how to pick a programming language appropriate for the task.

My personal favourite is, of course, INTERCAL, a true GOTO-less language. But it does have a COME FROM statement, and the compiler will reject your program if it is not polite enough...

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 20-Feb-03 16:50
Cuteness overdose warning: Japanese dogs.

From Visa Kopu: Japanese Dogs

(I seem to be blogging quite a lot today.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 20-Feb-03 16:35
What is that bright thing?

The enemy of all geeks, the Sun seems to have remembered the existence of Finland after six months. This is bad for two reasons:

  1. It bugs the hell out of me to be indoors at work with this kind of weather with everyone else on winter holiday, and
  2. it shines directly on my monitor, which is very annoying. During summer the Sun is much higher up in the sky, and thus can't bother me...

(Grr. To anyone out there having the winter holidays: have fun. Grumble.)

Update: This ties in nicely with Janka's season classification.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 20-Feb-03 16:27
Model Rocketry in problems

Via Slashdot: Due to restrictions imposed by the rather broad Homeland Security Act, the Estes Model Rocket is now firmly on the endangered species list.

Aw, crap. Just as I discovered that launching rockets is fun. It's not like it's going to impact me in the immediate future, but still...

However, I am probably not entirely mistaken if I claim that guns and gasoline are far more dangerous things than model rockets.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 20-Feb-03 11:48
The World's Only Inflatable Church.

Again, via Dave Barry: http://www.inflatablechurch.com/.

Where *do* people come up with these stuff? And more importantly - why?!?

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 19-Feb-03 16:55
Change of aggregator...

I am trying out NewsMonster for an RSS aggregator. It integrates very nicely into Mozilla, and has some quite cool features. However, the documentation is not very good at the moment, so a lot of configuration is guesswork for now. It also is Java-based, which means that you need to have plenty of memory available...

Update: How on earth do I make this thing refresh the "Most Recent Articles" list? It fetches new stuff quite ok, and individual channels work fine, but the main list does not work :-/.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 19-Feb-03 13:20
Diet by God

Via Dave Barry: The One and Only Diet. Want to lose weight? Listen to God!

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 18-Feb-03 16:23
Agent Frank

Les Orchard is up to his usual tricks again... This time with Agent Frank. Looks interesting, though I'd have to actually go and install it to see what it really does :-).

"Infovore". Nice word. I like it.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 18-Feb-03 15:37
Power of Tux

We've had some problems here at ecyrd.com - our memory and swap space seems to constantly run out, when rampant Java processes eat away all available memory. I am currently increasing swap space, so perhaps things will be a bit better from now on. However, two JVMs running concurrently is not a good idea...

The coolness of the whole thing is, is that I am reconfiguring our filesystems - splitting and formatting a new disk - 10 kilometers away. And still able to blog at the same machine. Hooray for SSH and Linux :-).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 18-Feb-03 13:40
Interview with Deep Junior's author

Picked up this interesting interview from a comment in Slashdot: interview with the author of Deep Junior, the chess program that played a 3-3 draw with Kasparov some time ago. It's nice to hear that side of the story as well.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 17-Feb-03 13:58
Google buys Pyra

Via Dan Gillmor: Google buys Pyra Labs, one of the ur-blogging companies.

This is big news in the blogging world... Seriously. Google and weblogs have had a lover's relationship for a couple of years now, and this finally confirms Google's interest in the media.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 17-Feb-03 11:54
Debian gets KDE 3.1

KDE 3.1 seems to have landed in Debian unstable. It seems to be quite a lot faster, too, and it imported all of my preferences from KDE 2, with the exception of the saved session. But that's not really a problem.

I don't like the default icon set, but otherwise KDE 3 seems quite an improvement. Oh yeah, and Konqueror 3.1 still can't cope with UTF-8 properly :-(.

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Monday, 17-Feb-03 11:17
You know you're too tired, when...

...you catch yourself walking out of the apartment door wearing nothing but t-shirt and briefs.

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Sunday, 16-Feb-03 23:54
Over and out

The tournament is now over, and I can finally relax. Well, almost - the financial issues need still to be sorted out (I have so far paid personally for all of the prizes from my own pocket), and we seem to have lost one board, but otherwise it's done.

The games were extremely tight - the final positions were finally solved by one game that was going on in the lower tables; and then the result was a tie. Those who play go know that this is quite rare - the usual ways of solving the winner are almost always adequate. Oh well, it was very exciting nonetheless... Plenty of prizes were distributed, most of them to the right people, and even the other organizers got a bit of something (me excepted, of course :-).

I can't remember feeling this tired since Ropecon. It does not feel as good as expected, though people seemed to like the tournament. Could be the tiredness, or could be something else. Dunno. We'll see how it goes.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 15-Feb-03 13:43
Panic!

Whoo, the tournament has started. Panic is slowly subsiding. Will blog more once get my head straight :-)

Update at 13:43: Things getting better, no major problems yet. Everyone is having lunch, I'll need to wait until the next round starts.

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Friday, 14-Feb-03 19:02
One

Sitting here at work, nobody else around, listening to hand-picked music (Solas by Ronan Hardiman, if you insist - currently playing "Communication") - it makes me feel as if I had the entire world at my fingertips. It is as if I was a small part of something incredibly big. I am connected to the world in ways that could not be fathomed a few years ago - I can skim or go deep, read or exchange thoughts with millions, distribute things I have created with equal ease to someone in Australia, or sitting beside me. I can give freely, and I can freely enjoy the countless things that others have created. No restrictions, no boundaries.

It is a wonderful and a scary feeling. I know that in a few minutes it passes, and I am again reminded by all the evil and trouble in the world. But to be able to feel something like this once in a while is exhilarating. It is a part of the flow.

Do ravers feel the same thing? How about athletes? Is this nothing else than an endorphine buzz? Can you teach yourself to release them at will?

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 14-Feb-03 16:57
Free beer

Yesterday, pub Amsterdam celebrated their one-year anniversary. They had a nice band, and free beer. Good free beer, not the kind of crap that would go untouched for weeks even in a student house. Nice.

In a totally unrelated matter, an unusual amount of people seem to be complaining about hangovers this afternoon. Hm. Strange.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 14-Feb-03 16:16
Free electronic music

Kobaïa: Kahvi.org publishes free electronic music using only free formats, such as Ogg Vorbis.

Whoa, good stuff. And a well-encoded Vorbis stream at something like 120-140 kbps sounds incredible.

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Friday, 14-Feb-03 10:12
From human relations to cosmic relations

"The universe is 13.7 billion years old (accurate to 1 percent), composed of 73 percent dark energy, 23 percent cold dark matter, and only 4 percent atoms, is currently expanding at the rate of 71 km/sec/Mpc (accurate to 5 percent), underwent episodes of rapid expansion called inflation, and will expand forever."

Astronomy Picture of the Day.

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Friday, 14-Feb-03 09:47
Blogging crisis in Finland

Merten and Tommi (whose permalinks seem to have broken; links are also in Finnish - sorry) wonder about why people care about their ranks on the Pinseri top blogs list; and overall, why do people read blogs.

Two points: Yes, it does not matter really how much readership you have, except perhaps when you consider your responsibilities. And attempting to inflate your readership numbers will drive you down the tabloid path - anything for ratings. But what does matter, are links. People who link to you either think you're saying something worthwhile, or think you're weird, or evil, or just plain stupid. But regardless of the cause, they think your ideas are worth directing other people to - they have gone through the trouble of letting other people know about you, and have put their "seal of approval" (or "seal of disapproval" as the case may be) on you. And this is how networking works.

Second point is: There is a distinction between a blog (short for WebLog), and a personal web diary. Originally, a WebLog was just that: "a log of the web". The first one was a CERN web site, which catalogued all of the new WWW sites as they appeared in the infancy of the web. So, a WebLog links to all around the net.

The web diaries are then the transformation of paper diaries to the web. They take a very personal view point, and are mostly about what is happening in the author's life. Some of them can be very intimate, some of them just work as a place to vent out, and some of them are something else. But they are, regardless, personal, and talk about personal issues.

Of course, the distinction is not clear. Many (I would say most) mix these both kinds of content to the extent that everything between a "real" weblog and a personal diary is now known as a "blog", and all of the authors are "bloggers". OK, no big deal - people have different needs to publish, different itches to scratch, and we all still fit under the same umbrella. But this does bring me to the second point: Why to read blogs?

Reading a real weblog usually means that you are after information. Or at least I am. I subscribe to ~20 RSS feeds, all of them giving me a filtered view of the web. This allows me to choose the way I see the content by subscribing to people whom I know to be experts in their field, or well networked, or something else I appreciate. Weblogs are a way to distribute and filter information in a collaborative way; and also a way to create new things by allowing ideas to flow freely.

Personal diaries are a different thing. Reading them means that you are either interested in that person, his life, or you are trying to get a piece of his fame *evil grin*. And, while some of that activity falls under the generic, dubious category of social pr0n, I think it just shows a healthy interest in how your friends are doing. Up to a point, of course. Perhaps laziness plays a part in it, too: it's too easy to check how the others are doing, and you don't have to talk to them :-).

But as I said, most blogs are somewhere between the two ends. Most of the blogs I follow tend to hover nearer the "real" weblog end of the scale, with the exception of the blogs of a few friends or other interesting people. I guess that makes me an information junkie, then :-).

And to conclude this rantish thing, I would like to remind everyone that content is crap.

(Update: Merten, perhaps I was a bit unclear: Orava linking to you does not validate his points; it validates your points. That, or my sarcasm detector is broken again :-)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 13-Feb-03 17:21
On the subject of ratings

Horror! I have been deserted. One of my gorgeous ten readers - not counting googlebot - has decided to dump me! Aaarg. I am devastated and torn by feelings of disillusionement, inadequacy, and loneliness. How terrible.

Not.

(I just happened to spot the URL in my referrer logs. This sort of explains some of the talk that I have heard. Do we really need a way to compete in how popular our weblogs are? These are, after all, just the stuff we want to publish about ourselves, filtered versions of the truth - isn't ranking blogs roughly the same thing as ranking who's the best liar?)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 13-Feb-03 17:11
Bgnwerhgjfl.

Grbbmlmmubmle. More tired than an 18-wheel truck. Jokes are getting so stupid even I can't laugh at them. Unable to start sentences properly.

Been talking all day, giving presentations and having last minute panic attacks concerning next weekends' tournament, and arranging my own, very small part of my sister's wedding. Slept very thinly as well; and now I need some tapemarkerfoodcleaningcar...

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 12-Feb-03 23:52
...but more spam

Mikki tells us in his eloquent way why nobody likes spam. Nobody likes spam, and he does not really say anything new, but it is always a pleasure to read his rants :-).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 12-Feb-03 20:28
No more blogtrolls

Wil Wheaton is fed up with idiots, and takes a break from weblogging.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 11-Feb-03 23:43
Election coming up - so are blogs

With the upcoming Finnish parliament elections, it does not really surprise me that some of the candidates are running their own weblogs (or web diaries, to be exact - I am still a bit of a purist in that matter). For example Karoliina Kaita (an old friend, incidentally) and Anneli Jäätteenmäki (our former Minister of Justice) seem to be documenting themselves for the voters.

My guess would actually be that by the time of the next election, quite a lot more of the candidates will be running a weblog. In fact, I would wager that even some of the current politicians would keep running blogs throughout their term - I would certainly subscribe to them. Seriously. That would be a real way for the politicians to publish their views without media filtering, through a direct channel to the people. I do not know really how much of a problem this is to the current politicians, but it might certainly help some of those who have been "shadowed" by their more loud or prominent colleagues.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 11-Feb-03 14:24
The ultimate compression utility

LZip, the best compression utility there is. The algorithm is truly advanced, and the file size reduction is incredible, up to 85% and more.

The only thing that worries me slightly is their license, which is not GPL compatible. For example, it says: This product comes with absolutely NO WARRANTY. It also comes without meat, for those on a restricted diet.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 11-Feb-03 01:45
Bowling for User Interfaces

Saw the movie. Highly, highly recommended for everyone - it is a movie that makes you laugh, cry, and feel very somber about certain things; and asks a lot of important questions.

I managed to drag a couple of friends I had not seen in ages to see the movie with me. Afterwards we sat in a nearby cafe and talked for hours. A good conversation, and it made me wonder what really is the connection between User Interface design and ExtremeProgramming. A lot of XP folks do not understand design, or UI design in particular, but I think the problem lies with seeing XP as the tool instead of a philosophy. You can't really force UI design into the XP mold; instead, you have to take XP and apply it into UI design - in effect, form XUID - eXtreme User Interface Design. Just do what XP did to programming: do only the good stuff, and do it in extreme ways (code review is good; so use pair programming to do constant review, etc). The same principle should be applied to UI design - just take the good stuff, and do it in an extreme way. It should work.

XUID should also solve the problem of providing good user stories to XP programmers; once you have the UI design in place, the user stories are there - all of the use cases, and ready-designed user interfaces should provide you with enough user stories to start planning. And a good UI designer accompanying the client should be able to articulate the real user needs much better than just the client.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 10-Feb-03 15:49
Gaming experiences

From Jeremy Zawodny: The Joy Stick.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 09-Feb-03 12:34
The normal things

Yesterday, took my parent's dog to a long, long walk, went to sauna, ate well, watched Survivors (one more episode to go, yay! Very exciting...), and slept well.

http://www.ecyrd.com/~jalkanen/rippe.png

I am feeling more relaxed than in quite some time - which probably is a good thing considering next week is going to be busier than your average Japanese shopping mall. Apologies to anyone who has been waiting for a stable version of JSPWiki: I have only a couple of critical patches to apply before the code base is good enough for distribution.

Unfortunately, the documentation needs serious reworking... Perhaps it's still better if I just release this version asap. I'll worry about documentation later on.

(I think that for weblog use, an Image-plugin would be a good idea. Something that would allow a bit more positional control than the current, simple way of inlining images.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 08-Feb-03 14:08
Linux-in-a-browser?

Err... Run a Linux desktop in your browser? What?

See what kinds of cool stuff open technology allows you to do?

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 08-Feb-03 13:43
Personal update

After an incredible amount of confusion, we ended up watching Pahat Pojat. Despite all the media hype, it turned out to be a pretty good movie, with some strong performances. And most of the fellow audience was (for once) behaving themselves.

I could rant a long time about loud noises and how there are certain places that they don't really belong to, but I am a bit tired having taken the early train this morning to my parent's place. I would've slept, but there were a bunch of guys in the same cart playing cards - loud. :-/

(Oo, the power of GPRS :-)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 07-Feb-03 18:02
Miscallaneous ramblings.

Belgian beer is good. Far too good. It also does have a tendency to make you very tired the next day. Hanging out with friends is better, though; but the combination of these two is a killer :-). Incidentally, blogging right now does not feel like a very good idea either. Perhaps later.

Anyhoo, I see that Bowling for Columbine has finally arrived here. This appears to be a must-see.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 06-Feb-03 10:34
CVS-to-RSS tool?

Has anyone written a CVS-log-to-RSS-feed tool? I would love to offer one for JSPWiki - just subscribe to the RSS feed and get notification of any CVS commits, complete with commit messages.

More discussion at JSPWiki:CVSToRSSFeed.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 05-Feb-03 15:22
Today's thought.

Sparked by the discussion around the previous entry:

The problem of the common man today is that he does not know what he wants to hear. That, and the fact that beer is somewhat expensive. -- Tsumu the Philosopher
By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 05-Feb-03 15:03
Anti-Europeanism in America

Via Aula: Anti-Europeanism in America by Timothy Garton Ash.

Hm. A quick survey in a local IRC channel: "What do you think of Americans?"

"Stupid". "Fools." "Idiots". "Morons". "Big country can accommodate all kinds of people." "...with a stupid president". "Religious and overly patriotic".

Same noise, different people.

I have to say that this does not feel very constructing. Dissing others is perhaps a nice pastime, but at this point I have to say that it is going past light-hearted entertainment and becoming perhaps a bit too deeply rooted - on both sides.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 04-Feb-03 16:15
Roller Blogger

Gotta link to these guys: They use JSPWiki as their wiki engine :-). And the blogger seems cool, too... (Thanks to Merten for the link.)

(They wonder how to combine JSPWiki with Roller... Might work - at least JSPWiki engine can be used to provide Wiki functionality to this WebLog :-).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 04-Feb-03 14:10
Metablogging

Janka: So, I want again to point out that the link list there is not a list of my friends, not even a list of those of my friends who have a web diary. It's a list of weblogs I actively read.

Yap. It's an interesting phenomenon, definitely. The usual social relationships of your everyday life do not translate 100% to the blogosphere - and why should they? Most of the people in my blog roll (right) I have never met, but I think they are people that are a) worth listening to, and b) worth to direct additional users to. And it takes time to determine whether what you say is good or not.

My own AmphetaDesk aggregation list currently consists of 18 entries. Some of them are links I don't want to put on my blog roll (such as the BBC news feeds), or just entries that I haven't made up my mind about yet.

Of course, being on someone's blog roll is a good thing, and getting link love is even better - it just means that you are saying something that someone wants to hear. Perhaps it is because that you know him but never have the time or the opportunity to talk to. Or perhaps it is just that he infuriates you so much that you love to hate him. I wouldn't worry about not ending up on someone's blogroll - I would worry about ending up on everyone's blog roll :-).

There is a difference to being a good friend, and being a blogosphere hub...

The Internet was made for two purposes: porno and stalking; and blogging was made for one purpose: unlimited, uncensored bitching and moaning, 24-7. Not your business? I'll make it your business. Just one right click, one Control-V, and I have pasted my catharsis into a Moveable Type entry and shared it with the universe. --Avocado Couch, link via Jeremy Zawodny

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 03-Feb-03 23:26
MST3k in your living room?

Weird experience: You sit alone in your living room, watch TV and have your laptop handy. Then you and your friends across Finland comment on the same frigging TV program, because everyone on the same IRC channel is watching it.

I am sure this is common to many people, but it's actually a firster to me. While this is so extraordinarily geeky that words cannot even transcribe the geekiness factor, I have to agree that this is probably the sign of the times to come. It is as if we were all in the same living room, but it's just less noisy. You can freely ignore others, or partake in the conversation as you wish. You can look up the movie data from IMDB, or look for the actor's web site, or just idly converse about other things that interest you in the movie. But it is not disturbing in the same sense as when you have a room full of people, all chatting and commenting wildly, which - at least for me - tends to be a concentration-and-enjoyment-ruining experience.

Even if IRC (and other IM systems) are a visual media, and to follow the conversation you need to look at your computer screen instead of the TV, it distracts you a lot less than audio, because you can ignore the monitor at will. But you can't ignore people who talk - there is really no way to selectively listen to the movie only (and making everyone wear headphones is kinda stupid).

We want to be connected, but not disturbed. We want the power to choose who to listen to, and who to ignore. Perhaps this is why weblogging is so popular - it allows you to tune in to only those people you care about. The rest of the world you can forget.

And this is an easy sentiment: weblogging was created and popularized by busy people. People with low tolerance towards bullshit. People with the need to network, and to weed out the stuff that is not interesting. If you look at the new technologies, like RSS, they are also geared towards more efficient networking, and filtering of information, and most importantly, to share things with the people you value and care about.

Hm. Perhaps there is something deep in all this - these are just the obvious surface thoughts that I quickly skimmed. Need to meditate on this some more.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 03-Feb-03 18:04
Please, check your RSS feed length!

Grr. I like to read RSS feeds instead of the actual weblogs, since that way I can get them nicely on a single screen.

But some people like to put ALL of their blog entry text on the RSS feed. Which means that it'll take AGES for me to scroll through the text. It's even worse if they have included pictures, which tend to explode the size even more.

A good example is the RSS feed of Russell Beattie's weblog. He's a nice and smart guy, but his RSS feed is currently 16 screenfuls of text and pictures. (On my font and resolution, obviously).

JSPWiki blog limits the RSS entries to roughly 1000 characters. Some software uses the old 512 character limit from older versions of RSS. Some use just the headline, but I think it's very hard to know whether you really want to read the article or not based on the headline only - it's better to include the first paragraph or two.

This sort of echoes this earlier article. If RSS is to be the main way of distributing updates, there is something to be said about too much data as well :-).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 03-Feb-03 12:52
Explainifying the Iraq war

Jeremy Zawodny: Let me explainify the war against Iraq a little bit in Texas terminology. I agreed with this centiment.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 03-Feb-03 10:36
Let the conspiracy theories begin...

Conviniently, this man does not want to release his photographs of the Columbia breakup. I am sure someone will find this as "proof" that UFOs or some other weirdness was involved.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 02-Feb-03 22:36
Today's social porn

For some strange reason, I woke up at nine-ish this morning. Couldn't sleep, so I spent most of the day vacuuming, arranging closets, washing clothes - I even managed to get a painting hung, which had been waiting for at least four months or something. Then four hours of going through Shusaku's games and cooking. It is a good time to spend the afternoon, laughing at moves that seem completely obvious once you see them played out, but are incredibly difficult to find on your own. If only I could play such go myself... =)

On second thoughts, the previous entry I just put up seems a tad cheesy. Doing B5 references upon this serious event does not seem very proper. Even though what JMS says is completely true.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 02-Feb-03 22:22
Show must go on

~DaveNet: Moon Missions. He echoes quite a lot of the same sentiments I have on the subject. Space exploration is too important, too big, to be given up. And if the American's won't do it, the Chinese will.

As J.M. Straczynski says in sci-fi classic Babylon 5:

Reporter: "After all that you've just gone through, I have to ask you the same question a lot of people back home are asking about space these days. Is it worth it? Should we just pull back, forget the whole thing as a bad idea, and take care of our own problems, at home?"
Sinclair: "No. We have to stay here, and there's a simple reason why. Ask ten different scientists about the environment, population control, genetics - and you'll get ten different answers. But there's one thing every scientist on the planet agrees on: whether it happens in a hundred years, or a thousand years, or a million years, eventually our sun will grow cold, and go out. When that happens, it won't just take us, it'll take Marilyn Monroe, and Lao-tsu, Einstein, Maruputo, Buddy Holly, Aristophanes - all of this. All of this was for nothing, unless we go to the stars."
By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 02-Feb-03 01:08
Shuttle disaster updates

A good place to follow what is going on with the destruction of the space shuttle Columbia is the Spaceflight Now Mission Status Log.

Radar image of the shuttle disintegrating

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 01-Feb-03 13:42
Sake to be soar, great to be sneeve

Another batch of bootleg Lord of the Rings translations, this time from the Two Towers.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 01-Feb-03 13:05
Value of information

I forgot my Palm to work yesterday. I did realize it immediately as I had walked out of the door, but since I have forgotten my PIN code, I couldn't get back in. I even missed my tram. :-(

As I was walking home (not a good idea, since it was over 20 degrees below zero and somewhat windy), I realized that I am not really that annoyed by the loss. First of all, I don't really expect to need it too much over the weekend, since my phone holds the most important phone numbers anyway, and second of all - I have a backup on my home computer.

I have been jokingly (I hope) accused of attaching emotional value to gadgets, but that is not quite true. I do place emotional value on the data that is in the computers - emails, programs I've written, the amount of effort I've put into tuning my system, and the connection it gives me to wonderful people around the world. But not the computer itself. It's just a tool - something that allows me to do nice things, and keep them stored. Sort of a hammer-cupboard combination, with radio :-).

I wouldn't terribly mind if someone even stole my Palm. The value of the data in it is much bigger than the monetary value of the device itself (which would probably be mostly covered by insurance anyway), and while the trouble of getting a new one is annoying, I would probably moan quite a lot more if all of my harddrives were suddenly and completely wiped out.

But then again, hasn't this always been the case throughout the civilized ages: people attach much more value to abstract things like education, or freedom, or social relationships rather than pure, physical objects?

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 31-Jan-03 20:34
Analysis of the SOTU speech

James Fallows, a former presidential speechwriter, analyses the State of the Union speech by GWB. Interesting read, and a good lesson in the subtle art of rhetorics. Link courtesy of Aula.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 31-Jan-03 17:13
No more panic

We got a nice new venue for the Takapotku tournament. Phew. Another catastrophe foiled. Thanks to Jaakko for the tip.

Perhaps now I can go and finally get some work done. I already have overloaded myself with sugar and caffeine in preparation for the tasks ahead :-).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 31-Jan-03 12:52
Use good titles, please

Jeremy Zawodny complains that people don't use good titles in their RSS feeds. It's not that clear-cut though - sometimes a cute headline can draw in people as well. The tabloid magazines do this well: their headlines draw you in, even if you would never read the actual article.

Obviously, the whole thing depends on your target audience as well... But a bit of variety is good, methinks.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 31-Jan-03 03:15
Up and running again

For some strange and unfathomable reason, my Debian box started to run again - as if nothing had happened.

Perhaps threatening it with OSX helped...

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 30-Jan-03 15:01
How to be a programmer

From Slashdot: How to be a programmer. Surprisingly, some of the comments on that story are actually useful and insightful.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 30-Jan-03 10:57
apt-get install MacOSX

And my sound just disappeared somewhere as well - no error messages, no nothing. Just total silence. (And yes, I suspect it is because that for some totally incomprehensible reason ALSA likes to mute all channels by default. Why, oh why can't they restore your settings as well if you upgrade to a new version?)

AAAAARRGGGHHH!

apt-get upgrade-and-destroy X
apt-get upgrade-and-destroy sound

I don't recall issuing those commands.

(How did I notice this? I was trying to watch new trailer of Matrix that was shown in SuperBowl.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 30-Jan-03 00:09
Sometimes Debian does not rule

...like now. They did something to X configuration, and now I can no longer log in: KDM runs, but when I attempt to log in, X restarts immediately and I am back to KDM prompt.

Fuck. JSPWiki development is halted until I can get this fixed, since I have no windowing system and very little web browsing ability.

I am too busy and tired for this shit. I've got better things to do.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 29-Jan-03 17:02
Thank god I am not Windows ME
By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 29-Jan-03 16:43
Can computers create art?
By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 29-Jan-03 16:38
Flowers are gone

Takanohana retires. Sad, he was always my favourite.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 29-Jan-03 01:15
No more CDs

(A bit of a Finnish follows: a good link to a site explaining why the age of the Compact Disc is over. Sorry to all non-Finns, but I think this rant is a good read for those who understand the language.)

CD-ajan loppu.

I have to say that I agree - I have not bought a new CD for the past six months or something. Haven't downloaded any music either, legally or illegally. I don't like to be treated as if I were a criminal, and my music listening habits are easily catered for with my existing collection anyway. And the radio still works.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 28-Jan-03 21:20
Swatting the Firefly

Here's an interesting article about why Firefly got cancelled. Too bad, I started to enjoy it.

Thanks to Henri for the link.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 27-Jan-03 17:52
Overflow error

Bit of a problem burning in my mind now: The tournament I mentioned yesterday was larger than expected. And now the tournament that we have scheduled in three weeks is looking to overflow badly. This means that we have to find a new place with good tables and room for 40+ people, and pronto, or face the unfortunate task of leaving out people that would really like to come.

Panic!

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 27-Jan-03 17:48
3/5

The Kani6 tournament is finally over. It was good fun, and I won 3 of my 5 games - with one very near miss: a simple overplay cost me a few points, and so I lost by 1.5 points. Grr. But it feels good to know I played OK, and all those fast games have not completely destroyed my ability to concentrate.

(Update: another terminal, where I can find the bar. So I can link now: but the link is in Finnish, though =).

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 24-Jan-03 17:42
Routing and hubs

You know... there has been something that has been bothering me in the while weblogging business-thingy. You obviously already have nodes and hubs; people who are at the edge and those who are at the "routing points" of the weblogging world, respectively. The "hubs" see what else is out there, read other blogs, see what's good on them, and then links to the good ones. And since everyone else reads the good hubs, then those opinions and ideas are quickly spread throughout the blogosphere.

However, this makes me wonder: what is the social responsibility of those "hubs"? They are, after all, pretty much in control (unwillingly and perhaps not consciously) of much of the information flow that happens here. If they don't like your ideas, you won't get linked to in a big manner; and if they do like you, then you get instant fame. And this is totally fine - this is how any social network works.

But have those people who are at the hubs really thought about what it means to be one? What is their responsibility towards the people who link to them and read their weblogs every day? Even though it is nice to imagine that all people are smart and capable of clearly separating good and bad; right and wrong - there are and will be those who are not, or are willing to accept anything because it "comes from someone who knows better".

I don't know, really. Is this a problem?

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 24-Jan-03 16:38
OSX and X11

Apple has released an official X11 port for OSX, though they are not making any noise. The platform is looking more and more interesting each day...

What is there not to like? UNIX-like functionality without all of the config hassle... Something that I've grown to loathe in my 12+ years of UNIX experience. Configuration of things. Different formats, different places, and nothing ever works straight out of the box. I've grown pretty good at doing it, but only through necessity - I hate configuring stuff outside the absolute minimum necessary.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 23-Jan-03 17:57
Just good

Had a really good discussion today. Two in fact. Things ain't still good, but at least I got to offload some of my worries, and got some thoughts organized. Never a bad thing.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 23-Jan-03 17:47
Good riddance

Jeremy Zawodny: Weblogs vs. Centralized Message Boards.

Good riddance to message boards. I've always found their interface to be clunky, and it is very difficult to follow the discussion flow. Especially since most discussion boards to not remember which items you've read before and will still display them. And they are not at all configurable.

I recall someone saying that "the web took us back 10 years in UI design", referring to the extremely limited capabilities of HTML forms. I think WebLogs and WikiWikis are also a new form of UI design... Sort of UI libraries on top of clunky HTML, much like current UI libraries lie on top of line-drawing primitives.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 22-Jan-03 18:12
Crawler918, you suck.

We blocked all access from crawler1.crawler918.com to the www.ecyrd.com site. They don't respect /robots.txt, so we don't respect their efforts (whatever they are - they have no web site, nor an URL in the referrer logs we could check). Checking the robots.txt would be polite, you know...

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 22-Jan-03 17:38
More Wiki

Wikipedia celebrates their 100,000th article! They are probably the largest WikiWiki in existence, and the only public Wiki used by non-geeks :-). I think the Wiki format suits an encyclopedia really well, perhaps the first real usage outside company intranets or documentation wikis. Sensei's Library is another example of a wiki-gone-encyclopedia.

We are truly moving towards a collective intelligence.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 21-Jan-03 10:01
The Fly UI

Gotta blog this: The Fly User Interface. A perfect little story, including the headline. How many times in your life do you get to use the word "fly" in three different meanings at the same time? :-)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 21-Jan-03 09:45
Dave Winer, are you there?

In a comment on Simon Willison's weblog, L.M. Orchard suspects that Dave Winer sees all in the blogosphere. Let's test that and mention his name here, in a rarely read blog and see how long it takes for Dave to find this entry :-).

The clock starts now.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 21-Jan-03 09:40
Comments?

In 0xDECAFBAD, L.M. Orchard writes: Basically, I don't want to give up my openness, but I want to deflect the barbarians.

I may be just Harmless so far, but to me this sounds like the natural question every single society has to ask themselves: Where are the limits? How much do we allow our citizens to express themselves and behave freely, and and which point it becomes too damaging to the society?

So far, everyone creates their own laws in their own part of the Blogosphere state. But we have little or no ways of enforcing those laws.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 21-Jan-03 01:47
~WikiWikiWikiWiki

Finally got rid of a really annoying error in JSPWiki: With JDK 1.4, migration from ISO-8859-1 to UTF-8 in pages would not work, and there had been a couple of unit test cases for months that I could not get to run. But I did some serious reading and experimenting on the terribly underdocumented java.nio.charset.Charset class, and managed to mount a JDK 1.4 solution to the whole problem. It took a bit of headbanging to get the multi-JDK code running as well, but now all of our unit tests finally show green.

It's nice to learn new things. Even though it is far too late in the night.

(If you need a sample how that to use the 1.4 Charsets and decoders, see the com.ecyrd.jspwiki.~FileUtil14 class in JSPWiki 2.0.21 or onwards.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 20-Jan-03 17:26
Will the last person to leave please turn off the lights?

Edward Said, Al Ahram Weekly: An unacceptable helplessness. A cry out to the Arab world to solve their problems on their own instead of a script dictated by Americans. A good read.

Here is also an interesting UPI blurb about Israel mounting assassination operations in USA and other allied countries.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 20-Jan-03 00:30
Bit-o-coding

Released no less than three versions of JSPWiki today. Sorry to everyone who has been using an 2.0 beta, but we had to change the way ~BasicAttachmentProvider saves attachments on disk: first of all, it could not handle files that had non-usascii characters in their names; and second, it could not handle a trailing "." as the last character of a file name on Windows.

So we boldly break compatibility. Hope nobody is terribly inconvinienced.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 19-Jan-03 18:46
Food & sleep

Slept very late and went to a Japanese cooking class. We learned at least three different ways to cut fish (the names of which I promptly forgot), made sashimi, nabeyaki udon, and I finally learned how to make uramaki rolls. It's a clever little trick =). "Oishii...", he uttered, as he settled on the sofa, unable to move.

(For Finns near Helsinki, the ~PalacenRanta restaurant has a Japanese theme week next week.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 18-Jan-03 18:32
"Ingenious spam"

~ComputerWorld: Spam is getting more sophisticated.

Well... My spam filter removes any email that has been sent in HTML format, so I haven't really noticed any of those tricks that spammers use. But I've noticed that I have started getting emails with topics that say 'get wonderful secks'. Which is obvious spam. People I know can spell, you see. :-) I hate spam as much as anyone else, but I've got it down to a manageable level now, and it is kinda interesting to see where this arms race is going next...

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 18-Jan-03 18:10
I need exhaust pipes

What an exhausting week. I think I slept an average of 5 hours a night or something? Hard to say, because even though it's only early evening, I am already ripe for bed. Even this morning I had to wake up early for the funeral.

Strange. There was a nice lunch after the funeral (not exactly a wake, but close), where people looked at old photographs and talked. Which was actually quite nice. People were enjoying themselves, laughing (not very loudly, of course - this is Finland), talking to relatives you haven't seen in a while...

Perhaps it is the thought of death that brings people closer, and reminds them that it is important to laugh and enjoy the company of friends and family, while one still can. And as long as that happens, we're still doing okay.

(To any JSPWiki hackers out there: ~WikiProviders will break soon with page deletion being added. Prepare.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 18-Jan-03 18:01
Sue Spammers, only $9,99

CNN: Spammers Busted. Yay! Unfortunately, spamming is still not illegal :-(.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 17-Jan-03 02:58
Nostalgia!

Yeah! Press Play On Tape, everyone's favourite Commodore 64-revival band, has published their first music video (28 Mb ~DivX 5). Rock!

(You know when you're tired when you have to edit the same blog entry three-four times to get it right. :-)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 16-Jan-03 20:17
Body Perks

Artifical nipples sweep USA. OK. Fine. Great. Consumer demand and all that jazz. But could someone please explain the following comment from a happy user?

I love to look sassy and I love to be in charge of my compliments. Thanks to Bodyperks, I can do that.

Paula, 27
St. Paul, MN

"In charge of your compliments." What the fuck does that mean? You actually like men to walk by and go: "Hey! Great nipples!" "Thanks!" "No worries."?

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 16-Jan-03 17:20
Mickey Mouse still held captive
By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 16-Jan-03 13:09
Voting aspirations

New York Times (free reg. reqd): Nineteen percent of Americans say they are in the richest 1 percent and a further 20 percent expect to be someday. This explains quite well why any program targeted against the rich 1% is quickly shot down...

(Thanks to Aula for the link, to which I can't link to directly because they don't know how to make permalinks available to their entries... :-)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 16-Jan-03 11:54
Bzzzz...

Been busy. First, a 9-hour day at work, then quickly to the Post office, to pick up a nice package from amazon containing, among other things, Eddie Izzard's The Circle. Then to the movie theatre, to watch Spirited Away again. All this, and more, on four hours of sleep.

Spirited Away really is a good movie. The bird and the mouse steal the show again, and a second viewing allowed me to enjoy the background paintings, since I was not so spellbound to the plot and foreground events as when I first saw it. I don't remember any other animation that really was so entrancing since Aladdin.

Eddie is also doing what he can do best: Do you get... erm... Do you folks even know that there other countries?

For some reason, I've never liked stand-up comedy. It always felt so ... artificial. But perhaps I only like middle-aged transvestites. :-)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 15-Jan-03 00:31
Safe and not safe

As I was mentioning, there have been some burglaries in the neighbourhood, one even very near. Same building, one floor below in fact. So I got myself fortified a bit - a lock smith dropped by and now I have a brand new safety lock. And a peephole. And some extra bolts. So that's safe, then.

However, my dad called and asked me if I was going to be at home on Friday. I told him I was planning to go see my brother: "Why?" He tells me he is coming in for the funeral and would like to stay over.

"What funeral?" I ask.

"Your grand-aunt's", he answers.

"She's dead?" I ask, feeling kinda surprised.

"Yeah, she died a while ago. The funeral's on Saturday. Didn't anyone tell you?"

Oops.

May she rest in peace.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 14-Jan-03 16:07
Mystery explained

From Dave Winer: Sébastien Paquet: Personal knowledge publishing.

"The other factor that helps quality emerge in weblogs is personal ownership. Although webloggers participate in a community, the contents of a weblog is not a communal space; it is under the sole responsibility of its editor."

This perhaps points out the key difference between a WikiWiki and a WebLog. A Wiki is most often a communal resource, where anyone can contribute, whereas a WebLog is always a personal viewpoint. However, they are technologically very similar: both emphasize speed and ease-of-use; they both give control to the user. By hiding unnecessary technical detail (like HTML) they are both optimized for production and storage of content.

Interesting: WebLogs have started off big-time as a new media for gaining 15 minutes of publicity, but WikiWikis are considered tools. Boring tools, like hammers. But the author's personal viewpoint cannot really be the distringuishing factor, since there are many blogs that are communally edited. Places such as slashdot and Aula are thriving, even though almost anyone can contribute...

Perhaps it is the personality of the weblog rather than the personality of its author that make them more interesting.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 14-Jan-03 15:28
The turth about learning

From rec.games.go: How said one mine friend from Russia : when you are solving problems it isn't important solve you problem or no, - important not forget the solution !

Right on!

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 13-Jan-03 18:16
Zen

Q: What is the sound of a head thudding against a keyboard? A: tfgrgtfyfgtvgfvgfhgbgtyhfgvvfd rft.

Zzz. Must go home and grab some.

(Were blogs created by memes so that they could spread faster?)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 13-Jan-03 13:47
iPod as FM radio
By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 13-Jan-03 13:39
Beer good

Jeremy Zawodny: Drink frist, write second.. Dunno, but around here it has always been an established truth that people are at their most creative after two beers. Above that you start to lose your coherence, but two beers are just enough to lubricate the mind to its fullest capability.

Though it is quite probable that this is the reason why so many great authors were also alcoholics.

Also, it seems that a dan-level go-player's game does not suffer very much as a function of consumed alcohol. As someone said: "His [referring to a dan-player] hands stop moving before his brain." This is probably somehow related to this article in Nature. Experience rules over intellect. Hm. Perhaps I should test this...

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 12-Jan-03 22:26
A wave of nostalgia

Any Finns looking at this blog might be interested in http://www.koulukaverit.com, a site where you can enter your old schools and (possibly) be able to track down some of your old class mates.

A bit of coding again, a nice social dinner, and watching Survivors. I'm so totally hooked on that series. Of course, saying that out loud in public is probably a very stupid thing, because then everyone is going to look up who won and spoil it for me. Thanks guys, I really appreciate that. Not.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 12-Jan-03 15:17
It is up to us

From Slashdot: Guerrilla News Network has posted a great 11-minute "clip show" of different speeches from different politicians at http://www.gnn.tv/redux/. It is sad, funny, and frightening at the same time, and while it is not exactly hiding its bias, it should be able to raise a few thoughts, whatever your viewpoint to the whole US-Iraq war is.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 12-Jan-03 14:55
Guaranteed bad humour

A German teaching video for truck drivers (6 MB Windows Media, runs perfectly in mplayer). Not for the weak-kneed.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 12-Jan-03 03:07
Afterparty

Just returned from the housewarming party of the Mikki and Anne Living Arrangement. It was a good party I guess, had a couple of interesting conversations and catched up on people whom I had not met in a while. I also managed to put faces on a few names I had heard before, or talked to over the 'net.

Sometime in the early evening, there was a discussion on people, and observing them. I didn't think much of it then, but towards the end I got sort of detached from the whole party thing, sat on a chair and listened to people, not contributing anything, not being a part of any spontaneous social circle (which was probably something everyone appreciated). I suddenly started to observe small things: a small pot belly here, a slightly receding hairline there, clear wrinkles on the face, discussion about house loans, and so on; and I sort of realized how people I have known for a long time have started to grow older. The same enthusiasm is still there (perhaps a bit muted), they still look the same, but there is something different altogether. Quite a lot of those folks were people I actually physically meet only few times a year, so perhaps that is why I picked it up: the old mental image does not match with the reality anymore, and there is no gradual change to dull your senses. It's just a "BANG! You're old!"

I don't know why this bothers me. I don't even know if it bothers me. Perhaps I've just become sensitive to change itself.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 11-Jan-03 16:08
New beta of JSPWiki

I released 2.0.14 under a beta label. There are still some odd windows issues that people keep digging up, and they're kinda hard to test, since my only real Windows computer is a 64 MB Windows 98 laptop... Which is not exactly the most comfortable environment to code in.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Saturday, 11-Jan-03 15:38
Bugs and thieves

Whoops. Fixed a very nasty bug in JSPWiki that had become apparent when we moved to Tomcat 4. I'm amazed that nobody had caught it before. Either people don't like to use FindPage, or they just simply can't be bothered to give bug reports. I'd wager the latter.

Just got a note from the house manager: It seems that there have been several break-ins in this area within the past few weeks, and one in this house even. A burglaried house would not be a pleasant thought - it's not the monetary value, but the trouble that you'd have to go through to get equivalents for most of the stuff you have.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 10-Jan-03 23:23
Meditation helps

As I was saying earlier, the calendar at the right side needed a bit of meditation. So what I did was that I enabled plugins to also be able to access HTTP parameters, and made the weblog plugin able to pick out the start date from the URL. This means that now you can access this page, add "weblog.startDate=ddmmyy" to the URL, and see the weblog as it was on that day. Obviously, the calendar works like that, too.

If you did not understand anything from the paragraph above, that's okay. It just means that you still have hope.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 10-Jan-03 14:36
The Extra 10%

The Abuse-a-tron: "You get health care from a veterinarian, you shallow-brained, cat litter munching, goat discomfiting, churlish descendant of Barney the Dinosaur's greasy, tick-plagued loins."

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 10-Jan-03 14:18
Fame and glory

Whee. I have been found by googlebot, and The Pinseri bloglist, resulting in an explosive increase of traffic to this blog. Welcome to all new readers - I'll be an extra 10% ugly for you today.

Thanks also to Henri for luring unsuspecting folks to my web :-).

(It seems that ebu managed to install Tomcat 4.x onto this web server. Hopefully it makes things a bit snappier.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 10-Jan-03 11:36
Sleep no help either

Now I am just tired.

There's this advertisement in the subway where two middle-aged persons, a man and a woman, proudly show their new automatic blood pressure measurement devices. This haunts me for some reason; perhaps because the advertisement shows 21st century technology as if it were 1980s technology. They've also got exactly the same, slightly pained, expressions on their faces. It sort of looks as if they were trying to convey of a feeling: "Things are not well, but thanks to these things, we are okay now". They fail miserably, though. The whole thing looks so antiquated, and burlesque - I wouldn't dare to touch those devices... But then again I am not exactly in the target group either.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 09-Jan-03 22:18
No go.

"Vituttaa", as the Finns say so concisely. In English the concept takes a bit more words to explain, and I am not up to it right now. I'm feeling too asocial to even to talk to the computer. You can think of that as a symptom of "vitutus".

I slept through the alarm clock, and got to work far too late, still feeling tired. Got off work far too late, too, and skipped our weekly Thursday night go. Both of which suck.

Even sauna did not help.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 09-Jan-03 15:40
Apple goodies

I've been looking for a new laptop lately. My trusty Sharp Actius has so far been quite good (weight 1.3 kg, but the battery life is practically zero now), but I could use something new as well. So far the requirements have been "weight under 2 kg", "no fan". This new 12" thingy from Apple is nearly there. The 17" version would even have a lit keyboard.

The geek in me drools.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 08-Jan-03 22:43
Software update

You may notice the tiny calendar on the right side. This is a new CalendarTag that is now with JSPWiki 2.0.12.

Currently it can only link to the first entry of the day, so I'll need to think of some way to make this thing better, so that you can actually go through the different entries. Perhaps a NextLink/PreviousLink tag pair? But if they're tags, they seriously limit their use in general weblogs. If they're plugins, then you have to put them on every page.

Must meditate on this.

(As a sidenote, people are finding bugs from JSPWiki 2.0.12 at an alarming rate, and the ideas-page is growing, too. While this is a good thing, it does sort of tear me apart; on the other hand it's cool and exciting to work on the JSPWiki, and I got a responsibility too; but on the other hand, I would also like to watch the pile of DVDs gathering dust in my living room, play go, and do a trillion of other things.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 08-Jan-03 16:00
A pesky thing called freedom of speech

From BBC: German faces jail for 'ironic' remark.

This is a kind of problem that is really hard to avoid:

  • Irony is easily lost on the Internet.
  • There are plenty of morons on the Internet.
    • In addition to morons, there are also lots of people on the internet who just are overly sensitive to anything you might say. And have no sense of irony at all.
  • The police has to investigate every complaint, even anonymous ones.
  • Germany has strong laws against hate speech (considering their history, who can blame them).

Each and every point is justifiable or just simply true in many good ways. It's just their combination that gets people into these kinds of situations.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 07-Jan-03 12:45
Fictional bloggers

(As if they weren't enough of the real ones?)

Aula says: What would Neil Gaiman's web log be like? How about Dr. Seuss? All these questions are answered here.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 07-Jan-03 12:40
No GUNS?

A U.S. viewpoint into the Finnish prison system, courtesy of Aula. As a Finn, I am always interested in what other people think of our country. Call it a curiosity complex of national proportions.

(BTW, my computer is still running after the tea incident. Got off lucky.)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Tuesday, 07-Jan-03 09:33

Plenty of destruction and mayhem yesterday, with some kinematic stunts attached. Exploding cars (two to be exact), bullets flying in slow motion... yeah! The game was Feng Shui, a new acquaintance; and a not at all a bad one.

The real world damages were luckily limited to a lamp, GM's vocal cords, and possibly his budding relationship with their new neighbours.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 06-Jan-03 13:05
Gollum grew the shadow in the east...

Some totally hilarious translations from a bootleg copy of The Fellowship of the Ring:

http://users3.ev1.net/~eekfrenzy/captionspage/badfotrcaptionsx.html

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Monday, 06-Jan-03 00:38
You see? Complaining helps.

Worked a few hours on JSPWiki, and added a couple of features that certain persons have been asking for very loudly.

The good thing about having a nice constant 20 degrees C below zero is that you get to ventilate all of the mattresses, pillows, and what-have-you. Kills all bugs, too. I've filled my small balcony with all kinds of things I could pry loose, and put them outside with the small hope that a storm does not suddenly arise and sweep all of my stuff away...

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Sunday, 05-Jan-03 14:25
Go, go, go!

Spent the last 20 hours playing go, talking to good friends, drinking good beer and excellent single-malt scotch whiskeys. Then some sleep, and more go. And not even a hangover.

I wonder what will be life's inevitable backlash.

(For any Finns near Helsinki: Pikkulintu in Puotila Mall is an excellent place to pursue your elitist desires, if you like beer or malt whiskeys. They have 100+ different kinds of Scotch over there...)

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (1)
Friday, 03-Jan-03 19:23
Elvis Still Causing Problems, Reported Dead

New York Times (a free registration required, sorry) reports a terrible problem: The European Copyright on recordings is only 50 years, whereas in the US it's up to 95 years. Simply put, this means that recordings[1] from the 1950s are becoming public domain in Europe.

Why bring up this issue now? Because people still listen to music from that era, Elvis most notably... And so there is still money to be made from it.

But the sad truth is, that the record companies only care about 1% of the recordings from that era. And all of the other great and not so great music can disappear, as far as they're concerned. But as copyrights expire, it means that people can share this stuff freely, and perhaps start a whole new 50s craze. And then the one who's got good copies of all of the records is going to win big time...

Come on guys, the copyright was agreed to be 50 years, and everyone thought then that was a good idea. And it's still a good idea. Elvis is dead, live with it.

[#1] However, the actual music copyright still stands at 70 years from author's death.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 03-Jan-03 15:22
Tip of the day

Do not pour hot liquids on your computer. You'll save yourself from a lot of grief and heart pounding.

Cold liquid is much better, since it does not burn your hands when you are desperately attempting to dry the puddles with inadequate amounts of tissue paper. However, note that liquids with high sugar content tend to make things stick together. Which may be an issue or not, depending on whether your keyboard was among the victims.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 03-Jan-03 00:37
Not a day goes by...

I updated a new version of the software. The format of the permalinks was changed, so that they are now valid WikiNames. The RSS feed is now also rendered in HTML instead of Wiki markup.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Friday, 03-Jan-03 00:33
The Dreaded Coctail Party Question

This ~FastCompany article hits home (and ties in nicely with the previous entry): What should I do with my life?.

There are far too many smart, educated, talented people operating at quarter speed, unsure of their place in the world, contributing far too little to the productive engine of modern civilization. There are far too many people who look like they have their act together but have yet to make an impact. You know who you are. It comes down to a simple gut check: You either love what you do or you don't. Period.
By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 02-Jan-03 19:13
Go, China, go.

China plans to put a man into space by the end of this year, says China Daily, and are perhaps planning a moon trip next.

Good news. Competition doesn't hurt at all in this new space race.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 02-Jan-03 12:21
What's a life?

Dork Tower reminds us again about the essentials of weblogging.

Come on, Life. I'm waiting for you. Give it your best shot.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Thursday, 02-Jan-03 11:39
Another Fellowship

I just finished viewing the excellent DVD box of The Band of Brothers. It really is up to par with the From the Earth to the Moon, also from HBO.

The US TV companies produce a lot of crap, but there is still an enormous amount of creativity left over there. And sometimes, the will to produce good things. I'm especially impressed about the fact that The Band of Brothers has not been designed around commercials, unlike practically all other TV these days - 2.5 minutes of ads every 10 minutes, and a compulsory small "cliffhanger" before every break to keep people from running away to other channels. TBB has a totally different kind of intensity.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 01-Jan-03 23:12
Nononono...

This is the so totally wrong way to start the year (said he at 3:42 in the morning). New Year resolution: Get to bed earlier. Turn back the old internal clock to something resembling a European timezone...

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)
Wednesday, 01-Jan-03 02:44
The year begins

It is so cold, that when you inhale, the snot in your nose freezes immediately.

By AnonymousCoward  Permalink  Comments? (0)

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



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