Archive for November, 2006

Net Neutrality and Unlimited Bandwidth

Man, it pisses me off when I read this or this. Hopefully, the Democrats will put a stop on the net un-neutrality crap and carriers will get a freaking clue.

Other than that, I am awaiting an LG Chocolate KG800 today, for a review. I ordered this model because of its web browser (Teleca’s Obigo) rather than its features (it lacks EDGE, cardslot, 850Mhz and its BT headset support is flaky apparently). I have access pretty much to every mobile browser out there for testing, and Obigo is the only one I have never tested first hand.

Hawking: Humans must colonize other planets

Humans must colonize planets in other solar systems traveling there using “Star Trek”-style propulsion or face extinction, renowned British cosmologist Stephen Hawking said.

I gotta say, I agree with him. I am a pessimist when it comes to the future of the Earth and its inhabitants. Then again, if we are not so good in protecting our own environment and put limits into population numbers, what gives us the right to spread to other worlds and eventually destroying them too?

The Unification of the Churches

I do hope that the Orthodox and Catholic Churches unite some time soon. Not because I am a believer (I am not), but this will buy them some more time in a growing world where science is the only religion. Strategically, it makes sense for them.

What I hate about Europe

Not enough public restrooms! Here in USA you will find restrooms on every public place, gas station or park you go. In Europe (and that includes Germany, UK and especially Greece & France), it’s a hit or miss deal. I still remember the ordeal of waiting in the huge line for 20 minutes in the single restroom available when we visited Versailles gardens, near Paris. Terrible service for the thousands of tourists that hot summer day, and I hear that the few for-pay restrooms inside the Palace are even more crowded. Same thing for Paris’ train station restrooms that are only accessible for a fee. If it’s one thing that USA does right, that’s a lot of free, public toilets. ;-)

Regarding Firefly’s cancellation

I was reading some of IMDb user’s comments on Firefly’s cancellation the past few days. They all, unanimously, blame FOX for not “getting” the show and therefore canceling it.

Personally, I like Firefly for the most part (its “western” style is the only part I dislike), but let’s be realistic here: the ratings were terrible. Firefly was barely managing 5 million viewers for each episode, which is below expectations for major TV network. To be on the safe side, a (networked) TV show requires at least 8-9 million viewers per week. Only CW, SciFi Channel, TNT and USA-Net are fine and daddy with 2-5 mil viewers per episode — big networks aren’t.

Adam Baldwin as Jayne Cobb

The only part where it sucked for Firefly is that FOX put it on Friday’s schedule, which is a pretty slow day TV-wise. Exactly the same thing is true for internet traffic: Mon-to-Thu are the big traffic days and that’s why we only publish “original” articles within these 4 days only (Friday is slower, and Sat/Sun are true molasses traffic-wise). Anyways, except the Friday thing, FOX is not to be blamed for the cancellation.

“The X-Files” was also originally broadcasted on Fridays and its first season ratings were a bit better than Firefly’s 10 years before it, plus it was much cheaper to produce. Overall, I would say that if Firefly had either 20% better ratings or it was cheaper to create, it might have made the cut (for a Friday’s timeslot). I can’t blame FOX for canceling it.

My home

I was born and lived my first few years in Athens, but then my family moved back to Epeiros, north-west of the mainland Greece. I spent most of my life in that area, although I spent 1.5 years away to Corfu and then Germany (in the early ’90s). Towards the end of 1996 I moved to UK and in May 2001 in USA.

My homes in Ipeiros

The Greys use Firefox

Here is a crop circle with the Firefox logo in it. Nicely done.

Maybe I should finance a crop circle myself, one that reads “ELQ (heart) JBQ”. Then, I would get a big picture of it from a plane flying above it, print it in our big printer, then frame it and offer it to my JBQ as an anniversary gift. ;-)

An Ancient Computer Surprises Scientists

NYTimes about the Antikythera Mechanism:

“It seems clear, Dr. Charette said, that ‘much of the mind-boggling technological sophistication available in some parts of the Hellenistic and Greco-Roman world was simply not transmitted further,‘ adding, ‘The gear-wheel, in this case, had to be reinvented.

This makes me think how valuable patents are. Not because you have to license them in order to use their ideas (that’s the part everyone hates in the open source world), but because they are so well documented and securely filed. Patents in US usually go invalid within 20 years, but their filing persists. There is no reason to re-invent something that has already been invented because their knowledge is public. Social progress through technology is a given and patents play a role on this, you like it or not.

Violent computer games

Second study on the effects of violent computer games, and this one has also concluded the same thing as the first one: violent computer games can negatively affect a person’s behavior. The geeks who battled this notion in the past few years online on various forums should now shut up, ‘cause they have nothing to back up their claims, while the scientists and the politicians who thought otherwise, do.

Update: A message to the people who replied in my blog post and they just don’t get it and instead they play the devil’s advocate with me just to get on my f*cking nerves: computer games don’t necessarily make you violent, but according to the studies they can make you insensitive to a violent theme in real life. And also, this is not about parents and kids. This is about NEW information (the studies) and what you DO with this new information as an ADULT (or as a kid). As I wrote to Thom’s blog, in the ’50s many people didn’t know that smoking was actually bad. But new studies came through. What you do with this new information is what matters. Not what you knew, or what you want, or what your parents taught you, but what you choose to do from the point on after scientists have concluded and publicized a study that concerns you, the gamer.

Nokia 870 news

Pisses me off when industrial designers put form over function. The new Linux-based Nokia tablet, 870, is bigger in size than the 770. You would think that after 2 years the chipsets would be smaller. But noooo, the designer wanted a huge stand instead of the ones usually PMPs have. And the fact that it still has an RS-MMC slot in addition to the new miniSD slot, it seems to me that this is largely a rehash of the OLD internal design, rather than a new one. It’s the same turkey, in new feathers. And bigger.

Ladies and gentlemen, when the 870 comes out, make sure you buy the 770 for cheap.