Archive for April 17th, 2006

Dreaming of the Afterlife

I had one of these weird dreams last night that I usually have every few months. Apparently, I died in my dream (due to a huge… tsunami) and I was floating around for a few days from place to place (only an old, blind, woman could ’see’ me among the living — I was even careful to not scare her). At a cemetary there was a bully ghost (more like a bad spirit) who was trying to make the dead in that cemetary get even more scared than they already were — considering their situation. At some point I had enough of him and I confronted him WWE-style (you gotta love my subconscious self)!

After that, I found myself in an… office with some clerks working in it. I was soon enough approached by a male clerk who told me that I have to choose between going back to Earth and start living another life, or go to what we humans call Hell (and they did give me a quick taste of it with some clerks temporarily changing shape into ugly creatures — a good time to call Christ’s name in your sleep to help you get you out of the shit-tub, it always worked for me in the event of a nightmare). Apparently, there is either no Heaven, or I was not ready to be offered it as an option.

So, I asked a middle-aged woman who seemed to be like a supervisor there to give me some information about my new life on Earth, because I was obviously not going to pick Hell. Another clerk said that he had to go and see which life I am supposed to get and so he went away in another room to do just that. I found the time to ask these clerks if they were also dead humans like I was, but one of them said “no, but you can consider us ‘cousins’ “.

Soon enough, the other guy came back with a ‘glimpse’ of the life I was suppose to live (”I am sorry, you only have one life-choice this time I am afraid”, he said while he was coming back). The ‘glimpse’ was a picture (kodak-style, no less). It pictured myself, in my home in Greece as a teenager. But the furniture layout was a bit different. And so I asked “so, I am going to relive the same life?”. He replied “no”. After looking at the picture again I asked: “so, it’s going to be the same, but not exactly the same?”, and this time he replied “yes”.

I went back to the middle-aged clerk woman and I asked her to give me more information about this new life. She was not allowed to say much, but she said “this life is going to be much worse than your previous one”. Another clerk said “this new Eugenia is not like you, she can’t… she just can’t….” and she stopped saying anything more. The middle-aged woman then gave me a bit more (sad) information that I prefer to not air through this blog. Of course, I wasn’t happy about all this, but I knew that I could not negotiate it because they didn’t have the power to make it easier for me anyway. These clerk entities were just “working there”. The middle-aged woman finally said to me “You have a choice between Hell and this, and I must tell you, many other people have chosen to re-live much, much worse lives than the one you are going to get. I highly recommend you pick this life”.

I can’t remember anything else, as I think I woke up after this. Obviously, much of this “office”, “clerks” and “kodak pictures” are “simple, human-understandable representations” of what would things actually look like if something like this was real. Thing is, I don’t believe in the afterlife. And I don’t really believe in “past lives” either. I am not even truly religious. When we die, we simply die. We cease to function, and that’s it. We are just a bunch of complex chemical reactions that eventually go bad.

However, this dream did got me thinking that I may need to start living my life to its fullest and get the most out of it. 10 minutes later though I was back in my desk, in front of my monitor, lazily browsing the net and doing nothing differently than I do everyday. If God or angels or whoever want to shake me away of my (granded, self-exterminating) lifestyle they must try harder than using the… ancient dream method. I need more solid evidence than that. We have telephones these days! I have an iSight too! Let’s put it into some good use! ;-)

Jabber, GTalk and terrible hacks

And so I thought I should make GoogleTalk to use Jabber’s transports to display my AIM, Y!, MSN and ICQ contacts. What a huge mistake. Apparently Jabber’s transports are nothing but badly implemented hacks. I used Psi to register to the transports (using my GoogleTalk account) and all of a sudden I had 465 requests to deny or authorize contacts. Apparently, the transports don’t know how to deal correctly with the other IM protocols and so they download ALL your history during the years of using an IM account! It asks you to deny/ath even people which you never added to a contact list but might have a quick chat about something. What sucks even more is that EACH TIME you login to Psi or to GoogleTalk now, you get these requests AGAIN.

It gets worse: Each time I visit the Gmail web page, it automatically logs me in to GoogleTalk resulting in logging me off from Trillian or Adium (which are the IM apps that I usually use). Additionally, for some weird reason I don’t have the “voice chat” option for any of my GoogleTalk Gmail contacts. Lastly, while GoogleTalk is a fast app, it looks like an ass (like most Google pages do).

Most of this blame goes to Jabber for their half-assed transports, some of it goes to Google for logging me on to GTalk automatically without asking me. End result: I deleted the transports and will continue using Adium & Trillian and will never try GTalk again. And if I want to use Jabber, I will just use my normal Jabber account and not GTalk. While Google is building fast their Gmail community, nobody gives a shit about their IM and so none of my Gmail-subscribed contacts logs in via GoogleTalk. GTalk is completely useless to me without proper support for the other 4 major IM protocols. That’s the power of legacy for you Google! It’s time you have a taste of it too!

Rumor: No more Dell Axim PDA’s

PDALive reports that no more Dell PDAs are to be developed in the future. The x51v is the last PDA-only Dell has created. Which makes sense, as the plain PDA market is dead and phone-PDAs are the future. I won’t be surprised if Dell releases phone-PDAs instead.

KDE vs Gnome popularity

After the “fall” of MandrakeSoft and the “absorbance” of SuSE at Novell, KDE has lost lots of its professional engineers that used to work on the DE full time for their distros. However, while its development has being toned down a bit compared to the past (Gnome fairs even worse in this department anyway), its third party applications have flourished.

One of the ways to see this is by comparing the two main software repositories for the two DEs: kde-apps.org and gnomefiles.org. KDE not only has many more third party apps than Gnome has (there are about 1000 active GTK+ apps out there today) but it also has a healthier and more upbeat development community (mostly because Qt and Qt Designer are more usable than GTK+ and Glade). This is reflected in the popularity of the two sites too. Kde-apps.org has literally gone into the sky the past few months, with over 100,000 pageviews per day! Gnomefiles is doing better too than in the past, but has not more than 25-28,000 pageviews daily, even if the site is pretty much the only gtk-only repository online (there is also gnome-apps.berlios.de too, but it is unmaintainable).

When we announced gnomefiles on OSNews 2 years ago (which came to be after the Gnome.org server hacking that put an end to the official Gnome software repository), apparently the kde-apps.org maintainer became grumpy about it and soon after we got comments on osnews (originating from a German IP) that Gnomefiles… copied them! Which is of course bullshit as the two sites share ZERO design and usability concepts. Gnomefiles is a CLONE of BeBits.com, and not of kde-apps.org. Apparently, behind their grumpiness was a business reason: they had just launched gnome-look.org and they were getting ready to launch gnome-apps.org/com too. And Gnomefiles’ own launch just put a halt into their business plans. To this day, 2 years later, they still don’t link gnomefiles.org from gnome-look.org’s link page (while we do link to them).