Tuesday, 31-Aug-04 17:39
Slightly worried now

OK... So I managed today to fix all the things that cropped up today, and I have a huge backlog of things that occurred over the weekend, or during my trip to Oulu, or during my vacation. I got to the point where I was receiving more email than I could handle - the inbox was growing faster than I was emptying it - and I was doing nothing but reading email. I even had to tell people off because I was so busy doing things that I apparently should've done during my vacation (yeah, right) - and I try and never do that.

Not good. I see exhaustion ahead, approaching rapidly. I'm feeling good and energetic after the holidays, but at this rate I'll be dead by November.

(There's a big downside to working within the office hours: people see you and wander over to talk to you about pressing matters. And your work flow is interrupted. If you work outside the office hours, or from home - not that many interruptions. Perhaps I should just stay home for a couple of days, just to get some work done. *grin*)

Sunday, 29-Aug-04 13:12
Apple Airport Express cracked - surprising?

The guy who broke DVD encryption and iTunes Music Store has now cracked the encryption used in Apple's Airport Express, reports Edward Felten and asks what will be Apple's reaction.

My guess is that they will grumble and issue warnings, but essentially do nothing.

I have a theory that many of today's content protection systems have been designed to be crackable. You see, the technology companies are fully well aware that a) any DRM/encryption system is vulnerable, b) it is very expensive to design a good cryptographic system, c) having DRM on their systems means that their products are not as good or consumer-friendly as they could be, and d) if they don't put in protection, then content producers will sue their asses off.

So what is the logical conclusion? Put in a half-assed and cheap cryptographic system, that offers perhaps a few weeks or months protection, just enough to keep the content providers happy. And when it gets cracked, point at the evil hackers and say "their fault, we tried to protect this stuff, but the hackers are just too brilliant", and so they cannot be held responsible. And they will continue to sell their devices happily, because the market is now bigger. And I am sure that the content producers know this fully well, too (unless they have their heads up their asses, which is of course entirely possible).

I am also convinced that this is the reason why DMCA is not thought to be that bad by the consumer electronics companies: it just means that you can keep making really cheap, not-good-for-anything protection systems, because if a blind monkey happens to crack one, RIAA and others can just sue those monkeys and anyone using that cracking scheme - and the tech companies are again safe. It's like the proverbial bowl of water Pilatus used to wash his hands.

Eurgh.

Now what is interesting is what will happen to the companies that are now producing both content and devices (like Apple and Sony)? Can they survive this inherent rip in their business models - where the other half wants (and needs) to be open to survive in the marketplace, and the other half wants to close things down? My guess is that in the end, technology will win. After all, they are the ones making more money. And also because technology is controlled by a younger generation than content, and is willing to adapt much more quickly.

Sunday, 29-Aug-04 12:42
The saga continues (and hopefully ends here)

I wrote recently on a company which sends advertisements disguised as bills. I sent an email to the Finnish Consumer Ombudsman, and finally received a reply.

The official response says that the company "has agreed to stop such advertising, and is also closing down their web page. Closing of the web page has been influenced by a disagreement between the company and their ISP". So, perhaps the ISP should've sent their bill disguised as an advertisement *grin*.

I have to say that I found it quite pleasurable to talk to the Consumer Agency. If only they would respond faster to the initial email: "Yeah, we have received your mail, and are processing it." Now there was no indication that they actually had received the mail, which was kinda annoying. But all in all, I like the fact that we are moving towards a state where we can talk to the government agencies and bureucracies using email and other electronic ways of communication.

But is it always good? Before, you needed to talk to a faceless bureucrat in some gray building deep in the city center, but at least it was personal. These days, you send an email, and you have no idea who responded, as personalities are hidden behind catch-all email addresses or switchboard numbers.

However, it's not an "or" question. We can still choose to go and meet the bureucrats in person, if we choose to. And probably get a better service than before, because they now have less people coming to meet them. That's what the Internet gives us - more choices to pick from. That's why it's good, I think.

Sunday, 29-Aug-04 12:17
The Day

Yesterday was the day.

I met her parents for the first time. I had to convince them in the few precious minutes and hours we had together, so that they would not hate me passionately and throw pointy objects at me every time I crossed the Arctic Circle.

How did I prepare for this task? I first went to a farewell party (and drank some punch), and then to the blogger meeting (and drank some beer), slept for two hours, and then attempted to simulate rest in the uncomfortable seats of the train - ending up with my neck sore, eyes bloodshot and my hair standing up on the left side of the head only.

Yup. No selfrespect, no worries. That's what living free is all about. *grin*

(And apparently I was accepted: "If he's really like that, then he's okay" is a positive comment. Right?)

Saturday, 28-Aug-04 17:28
Quickie

This cracked me up: Someone has patented two new punctuation marks.

I can understand that one can trademark new punctuation marks (if they really, really like), but in my bestest ability cannot I fathom how these could be considered patentable. It is starting to look like even art could be considered patentable. I should probably make a painting of a tree and a building and a person, and write a patent on "an invention where one embodiment depicts a tree, a building, and a person", and then sue anyone who publishes a similar picture.

Bashing the patent office (and WIPO) is tantamount to hitting a retarded person: far too easy.

(Via Joi Ito.)

Update: Phosita sets us straight - apparently the patent was only applied, but the patent was not received. Well, that's good at least. But people seem to try to patent the oddest things, like love. (But it's God's love, not people's, so it's okay.)

Saturday, 28-Aug-04 00:06
Blogger meeting

Yet again, a horde of drunken Finnish bloggers are gathered together, and they want to greet the world in their own words. So who am I to stop them? Here goes: Finnish bloggers say hi:

Hmmm... Taidan taas ensimmäisenä poistua. Pitää lähteä kuuntelemaan musaa muualle. Uusia kasvoja, uusia blogeja. Ei täältä voi olla poissakaan.... Seuraavalla kerralla lisää. --KatjaW

Iltaan kuului ennenaikaisia siideripullollisia, paikallisen baariolohuoneen pehmeitä sohvia, paljon kasvoiltaan tuntemattomia tuttuja ja tietenkin myös nopeahko Trivial Pruisuit, joka taas osoitti ylivertaisuuteni kyseisessä pelissä. Epäilen myös Kysyn Vaanin saapuneen paikalle oluttuopiksi naamioituneena. Taas. Cheers! -- http://www.visukinttu.com

sedis tervehtii maailman hienoimman vehkeen välityksellä. one linerit ovat vähissä, sillä retromaailman vahvin sissiliike on valtaamassa blogiuniversumin. monikulttuurinen sanomamme on: kaikkien maailmojen blogistit, yhtykää. tässä suuruudenhullussa imaginaarisyydessä muistakaa pientä ihmistä, joka on nähnyt kaiken, eikä silti mitään sillä hän on jäänyt internetin ulkopuolelle. poliittinen blogihuumorini on kuollut, joten luovutan koneen matkatoimiston väelle. turisti, ole hyvä:

Turisti toteaa: Äiti, lähetä tyttärellesi rahaa tai laita mummi lihoiksi. Perintöä odotellessa.... Ei mut kivaa on, eikä selkäänkään satu kun juo tarpeeksi korpikuusen kyyneliä... lähetä edes ruisleipää... niisk... Niin ja Savo-Pohjanmaa maaottelu on käynnissä. Minä ja Aika jatkaa...

Tsalo jatkaa sisäistä kamppailuaan: kognitiivisilla valituilla on kaikki argumentit puolellaan; täällä on vain tupakka, viina ja villit naiset...

pni från skrubu.net (ja och lokala MMS blog också), hej. Tog mig till Berghäll för en kväll i stil med blind date, för att se vad hur människorna som skriver bloggar ser ut som. Hmm... ja. Det är ju helt vanliga typer faktsikt. Nu skall jag ta mig en öl till.

Julius, kobaia.net: Ensimmäistä kertaa Kallion blogimiitissä, edellinen meni sairastaessa kotona. Olen jo nyt juonut yli rajojeni, onneksi palkankorotus on luvassa mahdollisimman pian. Paljon uusia ihmisiä, muutamia vanhempia tuttavuuksia. Eikä Kysyn vaan uskaltanut tulla paikalle. TIEDÄN KYLLÄ KUKA OLET!

Vähänks meil on ihkui kaveriqvii Minyan kaa!!1 Nii ja minä Kobaïan Neahan olen vanha konkari täällä blogimiitissä. Jos tisseistä tai kalukukkaroista on keskusteltu, olen missannut. Pitääkin tästä mennä Skitso-Jannen kanssa aloittamaan keskustelu edes jostain sukupuolielimiin liittyvästä.

Saavuin sittenkin paikalle uuden ystäväni Rajatapauksen ja ja punaviinilasillesen rohkaisemana. Oikeasti en juonut punaviinilasillista rohkaisuksi, vaan terveydeksi ja järkytyksen poistamiseksi. Jatkan edelleen punaisella juomalla.. päänsärky johtuu savusta. Silti on kivaa nähdä uusia ja vanhoja naamoja. Kuvamateriaali löytyy osoitteesta http://www.minyaweb.net. Terkuin, Minya

Tapasin tänään uuden tuttavuuden, Minyan. Minut saatiin houkuteltua parin tunnin keskustelun jälkeen, tähän mielenkiintoiseen tapaamiseen. Jonkinlaista nettipäiväkirjaa olen pitänyt aikaisemminkin, tosin hieman suppeasta aiheesta...Nyt uskon jo jääneeni koukkuun tähän uuteen yhteisöön ;) (ennen edes nimimerkin rekisteröimistä). Nimimerkiksi taidan valita Rajatapauksen, jonkun paidasta innostuneena. Koen olevani jonkin sortin rajatapaus, selitys löytyy tulevasta päiväkirjastani. Oli tosi kivaa tavatata teidät kaikki, vaikutitte oikein värikkäältä ja mukavalta porukalta. Terveisin, Rajatapaus.

Hang-around-bloggaajien tapaaminen äityi sittenkin suureksi bloggaajamiitiksi, jossa jälleen virtasi vesi ja terveelliset elämän tavat olivat kunniassa. Vatsalihasliikkeitä tehtiin, venyteltiin äänijänteitä ja harjoitimme itseruoskintaa. Aah.

Osanottajien lukumäärä ällistyttää: seuraava blogimiitti pidetään jossakin laajemmassa paikassa. Uudet tuttavuudet ovat aina kiinnostavia, eniten huvituimme kuitenkin Soopan vakaasta käsityksestä, että Pala maailmaani käsittää yhden kappaleen nuoria brunetteja.

Kysyn vaan olisi englanniksi joko "I only ask you" tai Mitin ehdottama "I barely ask". Olisikohan jo aika lähteä lepäämään? RaparperiBlog kiittää.

SchizoBlog bloggaa kerrankin ilmaiseksi jossain muualla kuin ~SchizoBlogissa. Olut "halpaa" (lue: luottokolrtti toimii). Nännän Nää kaikki, jotka ette päässeet paikalle. Menetitte elämänne bileet. Paikalle ilmestyi enemmän kuin viime kerralla ja keskustelu on enemmän kuin erittäin vilkasta ja antoisaa. Varsinkin Sediksen missaaminen on elämän suuria menetyksiä. Miettikää sitä.

Ööö.. Koska on mun vuoro? Mä aion vetää Elviksen koko tuotannon. Mitä? Eiks tää olekaan Idols-karsinta? -m-

Rökitys. Nöyryytys. Luovutusvoitto. Hyvä ilta siis :) -Haltia

Wednesday, 25-Aug-04 23:54
No sir, I am not that much in touch with my feminine side

I was going to blog from Reeperbahn (I find it slightly worrying that T9 actually recognizes that word) but instead exhaustion got the better of me, so I'm in the hotel, ready for bed.

But idly I wonder about why my name seems so feminine to many non-Finns. The hotel tv greets me as "Mrs Jalkanen", and someone has placed a women's magazine on the table for my convenient perusal.

Well, no big harm done :). If some computer out there thinks I'm a woman, let it be. Computers need their fun, too.

Update: I need to check my handwriting. The hotel bill this morning was addressed to

Mrs. Janne Jalkanen
Algrsis Rivon Katu
00510 Mozinski
Finland

NOT quite where I imagine living. And the poor clerk looked very confused as she looked me in the eye and went: "M...errr Jalkanen?", as she was trying to decide which one was correct: the computer or her eyes. :-D

Tuesday, 24-Aug-04 14:49
Caged

Back at work, already swept by schedules and plans and meetings and travel. Today, Tampere; tomorrow, Germany.

Outside, the sun mocks me with its gentle rays, and the trees laugh and rustle their leaves.

I want to be back out there with them and feel the wind.

Monday, 23-Aug-04 03:07
The importance of dreams

I'm back home again; a day later than I was supposed to. With some very interesting tan lines, I might add.

My Thursday night was one of the strangest ever. Suffice to say that I ended up alone, in an Irish pub in Reykjavik, listening to melancholic guitar music and downing a horribly expensive beer. I also had a fever (of which I was not aware of the time), which produced some of the most vivid and strangest dreams I've seen in a long while, when I finally clambered to the youth hostel.

So I dreamed. In one dream, I was crossing a street, and as the traffic lights went green, all of the cars turned to horses and had to be herded away so I could cross the street. In a second dream, I saw myself find an internet terminal, and buying tickets to Oulu for the day that I arrive in Helsinki.

I wake up - still feverish - and recount some of the dreams to my travel companion. She looks at me, with a slightly worrying look, as I start to ponder that the idea from the last dream is not really that bad.

In our hotel, on the last night, I find a free Internet terminal that looks just like the one in my dream. So I buy tickets to Oulu, wondering who the heck gave my subconscious a free reign over my credit card.

For the rest of the trip, I worry about whether I'm going to make the connection, or the inevitable gaping hole that will be left on my bank account, or whether this was such a good idea at all, since I have been doing nothing but travel, and I shall be doing some heavy travel in the near future as well. (Bleargh.)

But Outi meets me on the airport, and one hug removes all doubt and weariness.

Later in the evening, the air is charged with a magical feeling that cannot be described in my crude words. It's as if one touch could set the world on fire; as if the thunder outside came from your mind; as if one look made your heart explode; as if tears and laughter and pain and pleasure were all the same thing. No masks, no hiding behind them. No buts, no ifs. Just... love.

*sighs deeply* This belongs to poets and songwriters and philosophers; not simple engineers like me. Shutting up now.

Wednesday, 18-Aug-04 01:31
Loneliness

Upstairs, they are laughing and singing. Five days of riding have gone by, and two days remain, and this is a good place for a bit of a good time: a mountain hut in the middle of the wilderness.

I'm tired, but that is not the reason why I'm not joining the fun. I'm here because many of those songs remind me of the fact that my love really is far away. And - being the sentimental fool - I just don't want to take it.

So I crouch on the bed and send my twentieth SMS to her. Missing every bit of her terribly.

Monday, 16-Aug-04 02:12
Gullfoss

(Ugh, these Icelandic place names.)

Third day of riding over. We're staying at Geysir, about 300 m of a pond that blows boiling water 20 m in the air every ten minutes or so. Nice.

I'm growing an affinity on these horses. They're surefooted (except for one that stumbled and fell on level ground and I flew very nicely, thank you very much), patient, forward-going, calm... And very bull-headed when they want to be. But tolt is nice; you can do it for hours.

Tomorrow, we head into the wilderness. That'll be interesting.

Thursday, 12-Aug-04 16:35
Suprising Reykjavik

One of the things I didn't expect to be doing in Iceland was to bathe in the scorching sun... It's somewhere around 27-28 degrees, and no clouds in sight. Very nice, and apparently rather exotic for the locals as well.

We're off tonight for the riding tour, somewhere beyond GSM coverage. Very exciting :)

Tuesday, 10-Aug-04 00:58
Reykjavik

This is the Reykjavik harbour. The evening is nice, though a bit chilly. Everything is expensive, and coming from a Finn, that's a lot.

But it seems to be a pleasant enough place. I think I like it here.

(Expect only sporadic updates from now on: I'm mostly blogging with pen and paper for now. No laptop, very little internet. Ugh.)

Monday, 09-Aug-04 11:55
WTF?

Got a letter from "Suomen Aikakausjulkaisut Oy". It had only just a bill, nothing else. "By paying this bill, your subscription for Uutislehti Suomi will be registered for 6 months." It all looks very official, and I am sure it is a real bill.

But I haven't subscribed to it. I have never said "yes" to any shady telemarketers.

It's a scam, as far as I can see. Sent in the vague hope that dumb people would pay the bill, thinking "oh, did my husband order this?". Even the due date is conviniently set for today, so people would think "oh, I gotta pay this now".

I doubt I would ever see more than one issue of the paper, if I subscribed - it does not actually say how many issues there should be... It also turns out that they have been already told by the Finnish Consumer Office to stop this advertising campaign, as it is confusing to the people. So I'll be taking this up to them, then. The other thing is that they are apparently including the RSS feed of a prominent Finnish IT magazine on their front page in an attempt to appear legit. Which, while not exactly forbidden by the EULA, is suspicious at least.

I'm not linking to the site, so that they don't get extra Googlejuice. But I'm sure you can find them pretty easily, if you want.

But the moral of the story being: check your bills before you pay them.

Update: Apparently, someone else (Finnish only) has also been having plenty of trouble with these folks: threats to sue, ISPs being harassed, all sorts of covert action... Cool!

Sunday, 08-Aug-04 15:53
Is that fog or are my eyes just misty?

A couple of nights the city of Oulu was covered in a foggy blanket. Me and Outi went out with our cameras, and grabbed some pictures; my shots are now available at my gallery. I also wanted to test my new Canon Ixus 500. Expect a sort-of-a-review when I get back home.

I know, they are crappy shots (photography is not one of my skills), and normally I wouldn't burden you with them, but I think those pictures tell well my current mood.

You see, tonight is the night we have to say goodbye. I'll be off soon to Iceland for two weeks of pony trekking (and with my luck, Helsinki is now bathing in heat, and Reykjavik isn't), and after that I have the busiest week I could imagine at work. And then two weddings might mix our schedule so that we might not be able to see each other for a month. That's nearly the amount of time we've known each other so far - it's an eternity.

*deep sigh*

Saturday, 07-Aug-04 15:07
This time, I'm pissed off

Ok, answer me this: What kind of a dim-witted fuck one has to be to rewrite the soundtrack of "Animal House"? Get rid of all the cool 60's music and replace them with completely meaningless, forgettable, and BAD 80s rock music? Who could forget the "Wonderful World" playing in the background of the cafeteria scene? Apparently the mush-for-brains who thought it would be cool to create some "new music" for it, so that "it becomes better".

Let me give you a free hint (if you're reading this, you smelly rodent): Old movies don't become better if you change them. Movies are not about the mechanic combination of moving pictures, dialogue and soundtrack; their meaning is created within the people, as an aggregate of memories, moods, people you were with, feelings that you felt, and other soft things like those. You don't retroactively mess with them.

Also, the people who think that E.T. becomes better by replacing the guns with walkie-talkies, or the word "terrorist" with the word "hippie", please do shove your head up your neighbour's ass and suffocate painfully. Your neighbour might even like it.

Angry now. Bloody fucking angry.

(For Finns: Don't buy the DVD that's currently on sale in many places (at least Stockmann's). Unless you wanna ruin your memories.)

Friday, 06-Aug-04 17:58
It keeps haunting me

Found the rest of the guy in Oulu...

Thursday, 05-Aug-04 23:33
Thing you don't want to see in the morning

Click to view the complete scene.
Very early in the morning, I walk out with the firm purpose of taking the garbage out. I walk in, turn on the lights by waving my arms frantically (the motion detector apparently works only if your body mass exceeds 120 kg - the local cats apparently can grow very big) and something is not quite right. I see shoes from the corner of my eye.

"Shoes?", I think to myself. "Shoes, dangling from the ceiling?"

I look left and yeah, a pair of mens' shoes is hanging a meter and a half off the ground. With pants and all.

My stomach curls up in panic.

Half a second later, my brain catches up and I laugh.

Definitely another one in the category of things you can do with your laundry but probably should not.

Wednesday, 04-Aug-04 13:01
A Reversal

In Särkänniemi:

She: "Let's go to Tornado!"

Me: "Are you mad? It is a horrible, horrible device! I'll never go there!"

She: "No, let's go there! I survived the Space Shot in Linnanmäki - this can't be worse!"

One minute of sheer terror later:

She: "That was a horrible, horrible device! I'll never go there again in my life!"

Me: "Well, it was a rather exciting ride, actually! Wanna go a second time?"

Oh, how we delude ourselves into believing things based on beliefs and prejudices...

Sunday, 01-Aug-04 02:50
Weekend fun

Been having a stag party. Not mine, though, contrary to some rumors. Pretty much traditional stuff, except that a) I have not slept since Friday (39 hours up straight I think - I opted for quality time with Outi over sleep, I think I'm going for my record here), and 2) the weather has been tossing some surprises our way. Suffice to say that we have been very wet.

Sleep now.


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



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