Archive for August 3rd, 2006

The art in Crop Circles

I love looking at crop circles. Some of them are recognizable man-made creations, but some others are not so recognizable. All of them are looking fabulous though. I wonder if they can be formally recognized as a work of art! And maybe rent large crop fields and do a “Crop Circle Festival” with competitions among teams for their creations! And have the crowd sitting on the top of a hill, pic-nicking, some even camping overnight, having fun, and watching the art being created before their eyes!

I think that someone with the right drive, crop land, ideas to keep the people busy and motivation can start such a yearly weekend-festival, and have immense success too. This could start a brand new trend, a new kind of back-to-nature entertainment! Currently, some crop land owners simply charge some visitors to go visit their crop circles, but that’s a far cry from an official, organized Festival.

Regarding ad-sponsored OSes

A few years ago I supported the idea of having ad-supported OSes, and recently it cropped back to life. Personally, I am a supporter of the idea NOT because I want to use such an OS (I don’t), but it because it CAN fill up some nitches in some places where people don’t have enough money to buy Windows and yet they do NEED a newer version of Windows (e.g. some poor students running on older hardware, some start ups, some PCs in train stations etc). However, I believe that the first company to offer such ad-sponsored operating system would be Google, and not Microsoft. Google is in the business of ads, Microsoft simply follows the trend here, trying to bring costs down in an era where software becomes a service and more “freeware” than ever before.

Of course, if you think of it the other way, it looks sad to have every part of our lives bombarded by ads. But then again, that’s just the reality of capitalism. If you don’t like it, feel free to move to a cave, or start an economical/political revolution. ;-)

Diet Recipe: Stifado

Another Greek favorite! My dad used to hunt rabbits when I was a kid, so here’s how my mom used to cook this traditional Epirus recipe.

Rabbit ragout/stifado

Ingredients (for 1)
* 250 gr sirloin veal, beef, or a whole rabbit
* 200 gr of peeled pearl onions
* 2 tablespoons of coconut or olive oil
* 3 big, juicy tomatoes
* 2 chopped garlic cloves
* 1 cup of red wine
* 1 cup of bone broth (optional)
* 2-3 bay leaves
* salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut the meat in smaller pieces, or ask your butcher to do so. Wash the meat in some cold water. Wash the peeled onions (leave whole, don’t chop them). Cut the tomatoes in some pieces.
2. In a pan, heat up the coconut or olive oil. Add the meat and stir-fry until it’s browned. Add the onions and stir-fry them too for 2 minutes.
3. Add all the rest of the ingredients along with 2 cups or water. Stir. Cover the top of the pan.
3. Cook in low heat for about 2-3 hours. Add water if needed (it must left with juice at the end).
4. Remove the bay leaf. Serve hot.

Beef Stifado
Beef stifado

News from home

I had a few interesting news from home in Greece today.

First, I spoke with an older friend of ours that I haven’t seen or spoken for about 10 years now. It was nice hearing her voice again.

Then, my brother is working night and day to get his new house ready with his wife (it’s on the second floor of my parent’s house). He estimates that the apartment will be… habitable in a week’s time. Can’t wait to see them move to their own private space, where my mother won’t have easy access to. ;-)

My bro also told me that DSL is now available in our hometown. Before last week, 56k dialup was the only solution for internet access. I told him to be careful and buy the Ethernet version of the OTE modem and not the USB one, as the USB ones have problems with alternative OSes and WiFi routers.

Lastly, my mother was telling me that my niece had her cellphone stolen while she was in a caffeteria. These things didn’t happen when I was living there. Louros Preveza is a small place where everyone knows everyone. My friends and I had never something stolen from us. But it seems it has become a bit too large when such terrible things are starting to happen.

God, I write too much on this blog… I need to clean up the house… my brother-in-law is visiting us from France tomorrow!

Star Trek XI and more

So, the rumor has it that Matt Damon will portray James T. Kirk in the upcoming Star Trek XI movie. I think that Damon can do a good job, but I believe that he is too old to portray a 20 year-old (the new movie is a prequel of the original series, set in the Starfleet Academy days). I don’t think that there is anyone that can successfully emulate Spock though. Leonard Nimoy has unique facial, vocal and structural points that can’t be easily acted upon.

There is a good chance that I will be going to Sacramento in a month, to celebrate Star Trek’s 40th anniversary. This would be Leonard Nimoy’s last public appearance on conventions, so that would be my last chance to see him up close (and thank him for Spock and his effect in my early life).

BTW, there is a huge chance that I will be reporting from WWDC this Monday and from LinuxWorld the week after. I’ve been to both WWDC and LinuxWorld twice so far, it was great. The entertainment value of the show Steve Jobs is bringing each time is incredible. At LinuxWorld is more personal though, as I get to meet the people that I usually email (or shout at) throughout the year.

Motorola’s Linux phones: Again!

I have written about this problem a thousand times, but once more won’t hurt (me).

Just a few minutes ago I received an email from a person who works in healthcare. She obviously found my connection to Motorola’s A780 phones via googling. So, she was in a panic mode:

I wanted a simple PDA so I can download programs I can use as a reference at work (such as database of medications- Epocrates, Drips and various ER programs) I ended up buying a Motorola A780 because I fell in love with the design, a phone pad outside with a PDA inside….now I have this problem….I have received files from co-workers, all of them with .prc at the end but it won’t run on my device…it keeps saying “cannot find an application to open the file”

Yes, it is illogical to try and run PalmOS applications on a non-PalmOS device. But it is not illogical at all to buy a device, marketed as a business smartphone PDA with a touchscreen, solely because you believe that it will have similar features to other PDAs in the market, that let you install native applications on them.

Motorola, admit it, you have screwed up with your EZX-based phones: no SDK means no apps, and no apps mean unhappy customers. Even if this specific person would still not able to run her PalmOS apps, the point remains that thousands of others who bought your EZX phones expected a flourishing third party application base. And they found nothing. Motorola, you give a bad name to Linux.