Archive for November 29th, 2006

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.