East of the Sun, West of the Moon



Filed under: Software — Erwin @ 3:41 pm

If two of my favourite celebrities are working with this, there has to be something right about Podcasting, I guess.

Lovely quote in the history blurb:

Little did I know then that asking a developer to make your software porgram is almost like asking someone to do your homework for them…

Too true, too true.

Want to go phishing?

Filed under: Technology — Erwin @ 11:26 am

A quiz of sorts at MailFrontier to find out if you would recognize a scam when you see it:

You got 7 out of 10 correct, or 70 %

With one I couldn’t make up my mind, but it turned out to be a phishing scam. Oh well. The other two I got wrong were both emails that got me suspicious because of the domainname being used, but they turned out to be legitimate emails from the respective companies.

Better safe than sorry? I think it would be a good idea for a company to disclose beforehand what domains customers can trust when receiving email (assuming no trickery with URLs like http://www.foo.com@bar.com/), but I don’t think I’ve seen anyone do that yet.

The good, the bad, and the ugly

Filed under: News — Erwin @ 10:53 am
  • The good: Text aids Tsunami victims.

    Although under 50 Swedes were officially known to have died, around 10,000 were thought to have been in the area. So the Swedish Foreign Office sent a text message to 10,000 people in the area with Swedish telephone numbers. It’s one of the benefits of GSM’s roaming capabilities that persons using the handsets abroad can be readily identified.

  • The bad: New Year begins as world mourns.

    Celebrations were cancelled in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, and the country’s President, Susilo Yudhoyono, used his annual address to call for national unity in the face of the disaster.

    New Year ceremonies were muted across the disaster zone. In Phuket, Thailand, where thousands died, survivors gathered but there was little cheer.

  • The ugly: Tsunami spams begin to arrive.

    Just as you wondered whether human nature could sink any lower, the spams start arriving requesting money for charities that don’t exist.


Fragmentation overload?

Filed under: Technology — Erwin @ 11:33 am

This article rang way too many bells.

In fact, multitasking — a computing term that involves doing, or trying to do, more than one thing at once — has cemented itself into our daily lives and is intensely studied. Research has shown it to be consistently counterproductive, often foolish, unhealthy in the long run, and in the case of gabbing on the cell phone while driving, relatively dangerous. Yet it is also expected, encouraged and basically essential.

Do you have never-ending deadlines? Job uncertainty? A dual-income family life with kids? A do-more-with-less workplace? Then you multitask.

Must Resist The Temptation To Switch To IM And Email Ten Times Per Minute.


Ocean’s Twelve

Filed under: Movies — Erwin @ 11:30 am

Not that I expect anyone to read this who hasn’t already seen the movie or decided to not ever see the movie, but M and I saw it yesterday and while the storyline was a bit on the thin side, it was amusing to see some familiar Amsterdam locations and Dutch and British actors, so as long as you stay in suspsense of disbelief mode it’s fairly entertaining.


Outdated technology?

Filed under: General,Software,Technology — Erwin @ 12:01 pm

For Christmas I got a keyboard a.k.a datapad to go with my aging Palm m105. I had ran into it at Radio Shack where it confused them greatly because this item wasn’t even in their computer system anymore! Unpacking it this morning and actually having a closer look, it turns out that it needs some software installed on the Palm to actually work and this software comes on… a 3.5″ floppy disk. A what? Hm, may have to perform some tricks to get the contents of that disk onto my own computer, because I certainly don’t have a floppy drive anymore. Harddisks, a CD burner, a DVD burner, but no floppy drive.

That’s an interesting way to remind me that the Palm I have is far from the latest greatest invention, sheesh.



Filed under: General — Erwin @ 1:10 pm

From the Denver Post:

When subscribers to the Colorado Springs Gazette picked up their Sunday paper this week, they got more than the typical free sample of detergent.

A copy of the New Testament – a Christmas gift that cost the International Bible Society $125,000 – hit doorsteps along with the news.

There’s a thin line there somewhere that I think the newspaper is stepping on. Where do you draw the line between a 1-2 page advertisement and someone hijacking your subscriber list like this to evangelise? I hope that those that disapprove vote with their feet and cancel their subscription.

Bah, humbug

Filed under: General — Erwin @ 11:21 am

Any motivational speakers available?

Still need to wrap a few presents, and I can already predict I’m not going to feel particularly sociable tomorrow. Tomorrow is my birthday and it’s much more eclipsed by Christmas than it ever was in the Netherlands, even if my father-in-law has been kind enough the past few years to share his December 28 birthday with me.

The boys will be covered in toys again, a side-effect of having more grandparents than is really healthy and all of them giving gifts of course, and will flood the rest of the house with those for a few weeks unless we twist their arms rather painfully, in which case they’ll clutter up their rooms. Yay.

The only good thing is that one of the kids will be visiting relatives with his grandma, so next week, while M is working, I’ll only have the youngest at home (Christmas break, after all) and the past has shown that one kid in the house is much less than half the trouble of two.

*takes a deep breath* Ok, here we go, head-first… see you in a few days.


In the news recently

Filed under: News,Software — Erwin @ 10:53 am

Things that cheer me up:

Things about which I’m feeling dubious:

  • A $500 Linux (Linspire) laptop at Wal-Mart. Not sure whether this is good PR for Linux because of the specs of the laptop. But perhaps I’ve just been spoiled and that’s why 128 MB RAM doesn’t sound like much?
  • BitTorrent sites shutting down for good. Pirating (movies, etc) is bad, sure. But… I forget where I read it recently, but what it boiled down to was: So many things are downloaded that people would otherwise not even bother to look at or listen to, adding exposure and increasing the chances of someone then deciding to buy the soundtrack, or a legit copy of the item itself, or a version with additional material if they come to like it after all.

Were there things that made me unhappy? Sure, but I’m not in the mood to try and remember those. 😉


Misunderstanding of the day

Filed under: Software — Erwin @ 12:55 pm

Spotted on Fark.com, an article about a Uk student (14 years old) including pictures of a topless model in his paper and getting suspended for it. That, in itself, was probably not the smartest thing to do, but then the comment at the end of the article bothers me:

“Pupils are well aware that it is not allowed to download pictures of this nature and particularly not to include them in schoolwork.

“There is, of course, a firewall on the school computers but some things do occasionally slip through the net.”

Nonsense. If you have a properly set up firewall, things don’t ‘slip through’ like that. What the person likely meant was a filtering proxy, some sort of web-nanny software, but that has little to nothing to do with blocking incoming/outgoing connections, which is what firewalls are all about. Now go back to your local techie and let him/her explain it again, okay?

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