Sunday, July 09, 2006

Leaving Las Blogger

It was bound to happen.
Following a 2 week-long period in which Blogger have decided to block my posting right due to "spam-blogging" (whatever that means), I've decided to move the whole blog, lock, stock, and posts to WordPress.
The new blog can be found at, and the new RSS feed is now

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Kittens. Probably the sole proof of the existance of a deity.

Site make big issue out of nothing new

C|net, usually restricted in their titles, have given their short review of "Titan Quest" the following headline: "PC game lets players rewrite mythology".

The immediate question that comes to mind is "So?". Haven't computer games allowed people to "rewrite" myth and history since the olden days of Civilization and it's likes?

It's an odd one, at it. Two paragraphs, nothing really interesting in them, I just don't get this one. I've been reading C|net's news for quite a while now, and this mini-article doesn't look like anything I've previously encountered. I would consider it bought write-up if it wasn't for the writer describing the game as "graphics-intensive ... [but] otherwise a standard computer role-playing game with monsters, loot and exotic journeys." So its not even an enthusiastic write-up.
Maybe I'm reading too much into this. It's probably a slow news article read by a slow news reader. Maybe the conspiracy against mankind has sunk deeper than we can imagine.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Makes sense, hit me with another

Now this may come as no surprise to anyone who knows my view of things, but otherwise this article regarding the process of understanding releases an
opium-like substance in our brain may come as a bit of a shocker. But in all honesty, that's just the way we behave.
Many of our behaviour patterns are driven by biological needs and urges, or, at the base, were conditioned by such biological causes. We tend to abstract these patterns, but the core of our personality remains electrical connection between neurons and nerve ends.

In this view, making sense as a very narrow case of biological cause-reaction/stimulus-reward mechanism is, to reuse the pun, making sense. A child must understand the world around him to survive. He must make sense of what is good (for him) and bad, what nourishes and what hurts. To do so, our brain rewards every cognitive association with a "hit" of an opium-like substance. The body gets addicted to this substance, which in turn drives the child towards more attempts at make sense of the world, constantly trying to sort things, differentiate, adapt his views and understandings and forge a form out of the chaos into which he is born.
By this, the "scientist" model becomes our form of existence. To quote Descartes, "Dubito ergo cogito; cogito ergo sum" (I doubt, therefore I think; I think therefore I am).

It all makes sense. Hit me with another.

Thanks to Warren Ellis for the link.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Title me this

Found an excellent Warren Ellis interview considering the new Desolation Jones series he's writing, and about his collaboration with new artist, Danijel Zezelj. He gets pretty Warren Ellis in it, which is always good.

"What I'm looking forward to is actually forcing [Zezelj, E.S.] into space, seeing him use the wide, deep space and the mid-distance shot. His work appears very intense because he switches between hard close-ups and long shots, but there are very few instances I've seen where he's been given space to work in a landscape situation and really compose a master shot. That's where a lot of artists really find new ground. Bryan Hitch just burst out of his skin when he was given the space to work the mid-distance, reduce the size of the figures and emphasize the environment and the composition. I'm going to be interested in trying that with Danijel, using the Japanese trick of knocking the panel borders out to bleed to take out time-progression...

You're in a coma, aren't you?

Friday, June 16, 2006

This is why I don't leave the house

Probably the most insane dialog this side of madness:

Old Chinese lady: Ex-see-cus-see me.
Old Chinese lady: Ex-see-cus-see me!
Gangsta: Man, what are you excusing me about? Fuck you!
Old Chinese lady: Fuck me? Ok, take-a off the pant.

Stairway in silence.

Old Chinese lady: Ex-see-cus-see me!
Gangsta: Sure thing, ma'am. I'm sorry.
Chinese kid: And that's why we respect our elders.

--Canal St station

via Overheard in New York, Jun 16, 2006

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

(Don't) Speak your mind

If anyone follows the latest XboX360 news, then the story about Microsoft marketing yokel, one Peter Moore claiming "Nobody cares about backwards compatibility" must have made some ripples in your personal pond.

Now, of course, no marketing yobo likes to disturb his customers' (the pay-through-the-nose crowd, as they are called), and so, lo and behold a clarification has surfaced:
A) He was misquoted, he said "No one is concerned" rather than "No one cares".
B) He meant "concerned" as in "worried"
C) He meant "worried" as in "We don't need to worry about it, as we reached our goals".

So, why am I interested in all this?
You see, marketing spokesmen are suppose to be the masters of dopplesprecht* and labyrinthian syntax, so it's rare to see one falters like this. For example, when trying to clarify his kerfuddle, Moore say "It's quite simply not that we don't care about backward compat." And grammar rules be damned. It's quite amazing to see how this type of cloaked lingo turned and byte its master. Here's to more of Moore and his All-Singing-All-Dancing repartee.

*I know that's not how you say "doublespeak" in German, get with the program

Free as in Forgetaboutit?

I've recently visited Mozilla's site, where I found a link to "Firefox Flicks", which, if memory serves me right, was a contest where users created and submitted home-made commercials.

Now, with Firefox being both the "IE killer" and the iconic Free Software product, I was mostly expecting something that will, at least in some vague way, address those, and other benefits of the browser. However, from looking at the aforementioned page, I quickly realised it was not to be so. What I didn't expect was my inability to actually view those "flicks".

You see, the video clips were presented in Flash. Yep, a non-free, proprietary format, which my computer doesn't support (Both for idealistic and practical reasons). Fortunately, the good folks at Mozilla offer a download option, where you can get the clips. In QuickTime format.

What exactly happened here? Either the Mozilla guys forgot what actually puts bread on their tables, which is the Free Software concept, without which they'd be where Netscape is now (which is nowhere), or they hired a marketing company who doesn't even know what's Free Software, and thinks God farts in Flash. Either way, bad move.

Sadly, it doesn't end there.
As I've recently mentioned, I played a bit with Damn Small Linux. When I got to their download section, a weird file, named "GPL_Sources.txt" caught my eye. The text file included with the downloaded files had this to say: "We honnor the GPL (sic) and will send anybody the sources to the GPL software in Damn Small.
If you want to receive copies of the software please send us $7 (cost of media and shipping) and we will gladly mail you the sources.

Now, I'm not a GPL expert, but it seems weird to me that a Free product (both Liber and Gratis) will demand money for sharing its source code, the holy pinnacle of the Free Software concept. And we're not talking about some forsaken application here, we're talking about a GNU/Linux distro. For comparison, if Firefox is the icon Free Software product, GNU/Linux is the Flagship. More so, Damn Small is based on Debian, a 100% communitee project that is also boasting a Free Software Social Contract.

In both cases, we're dealing with people and companies who spit into the well they drink from. Neither Damn Small nor Firefox would've existed without Free Software. Dissing the Free Software concepts, is just not Cricket.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Back to basics

Not BASIC, mind you.

I've neglected the ole blog in the recent month, part of it was caused by a trip to Turkey (in a nutshell, great experience, beautiful country, I'm madly in love with my girlfriend), the other part was me trying to sort a lot of things in my head, and eventually post them here.

In the meanwhile, lot of things happened. The world cup has begun (ho-hum), I've celebrated one year at my workplace (ho-ho-ho), Ubuntu 6.06 was officially released (ho-yeah!), and I've been reading tons of comics (ho-ho-homicide!).

I've attempted to upgrade my laptop to 6.06, after doing a dist-upgrade with one of the Ubuntu alpha (aka Flight) CDs. The result was an overall hard drive format and a reinstallation. The laptop, nicknamed Wildstar, should actually be named Apache, not for the use of it as a web server (which it isn't) but for the way I've installed stuff on it. The method is very simple, I've installed the base Ubuntu system, then put over it whatever packages I needed, and then removed whatever packages I didn't. The result was a working system, but not much more.

Not that I need much more, honestly.
However, the attempted upgrades resulted in what could be best defined as "some sort of problem". I mean, things worked, then they didn't. Then they partially worked, then they broke, then they worked like nothing. For instance, I had to reboot to mount a USB device, after unmounting it, it found it perfectly, but mounting it didn't work. When I finally got it to mount, it wouldn't unmount and so on. Eventually I gave up.

I've tried installing Damn Small Linux, but the Live CD chugged the system to a halt (Pen III 445, 64 MB RAM), so I tried installing from the boot menu. Didn't really work. I've then pulled Slackware and decided to give it a go. Installation went fine, but the system hung every time I tried to run it. I then thought about Debian, which is more-or-less the best choice in this matter, as I'm familiar with apt, the Debian package manager, so I downloaded the latest testing (aka "Etch") CD and started it. Once again, being familiar with Ubuntu's installer, which is basically Debian's, resulted in a very smooth operation, until everything went quickly down the drain as the partitioner failed to locate my hard drive.

I am not a proud man, mind you.
The sole reason for me testing all those different systems is because Ubuntu runs GNOME "out of the box" and I want to use a lighter desktop, such as Fluxbox, or FVWM. I've been using those with Ubuntu, but I wanted a bit more "integration" which you can get in a distro that uses those as an integral part of it (like Damn Small), and not just as a package.
This been said, after the whole installation fiasco, I had no alternative but to pick up the Ubuntu (Alternative CD, the Live CD installation is a HUGE, huge pain). Amazingly enough, it installed the base system in a flash, which leaves me with the nice chore of finding whatever packages I want and installing them. More on that later.
As a side note, this process happens about every 3-4 months here, so I'm pretty used to it, and still am surprised when I find myself returning to Ubuntu. Great job guys.)

eXTReMe Tracker