Page Collection for ^2006-04

2006-04-01 Books

I started reading Iron Sunrise by Charles Stross.

Traum im Polarnebel von Juri Rytchëu ist schon fertig. Ich glaube, ich muss mir noch mehr Bücher bestellen! (2006-03-26 Books)

Meine Arktis Welle geht weiter. Heute habe ich bestellt: Zu viel Glück auf einmal von Jørn Riel, Teryky von Juri Rytchëu, Der Schneewanderer von Farley Mowat, und Weißer Himmel, Schwarzes Eis von Stan Jones.


Comments on 2006-04-01 Books

Hast du schon von Amyr Klink gehoert, ein Brasilianer? Ich habe ein Buch von ihm gelesen, da hat er alleine mit seinem Segelbot in der Antarktis ueberwintert. Anschliessend ist er noch bis Spitzbergen gefahren und dann erst zurueck nach Brasilien. Nicht so aufregend das Buch, aber ich habe es gerne gelesen.

– Helmut Schroeder 2006-04-02 22:39 UTC

Nein, von ihm habe ich noch nie etwas gehört. Auf den Seiten des Unionsverlag find ich die Liste der Stichworte besonders vielversprechend, was die Such nach zukünftigen Büchern angeht. Im Moment interessiert mich das Stichwort Arktis. Und zu allen Autoren und Büchern gibt es etwas Information, und weiterführende Links. Das finde ich klasse. Wie du siehst, habe ich noch genügend Lesestoff vor mir. Jetzt muss ich Claudia mal auf Ferien in Island, Skandinavien oder Kanada ansprechen. Vielleicht finden wir ja eine Möglichkeit, ein Trekking in der Gruppe zu machen. Etwas Zelten und Bergwandern wäre schön…

AlexSchroeder 2006-04-03 09:52 UTC

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2006-04-01 Music

Listening to The Strokes, The Posies, and Powderfinger. What do you call this genre? Me ponders…


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2006-04-02 Switzerland Blogs

StephanieBooth talks about Swiss bloggers and asks them to tag their posts about Swiss bloggers with in her Vous parlez de la blogosphère suisse?:

Le public cible pour ce tag est “quelqu’un qui veut savoir où en sont les blogs en Suisse, et ce qui est en train de se passer d’important”.

I’ll try. ;)

Not that I talk much about Swiss bloggers anyway. StefanBucher is probably the only one I actually read regularly – because he is interested in how to write online and how to explain blogs and I guess technology in general to lay people.


Comments on 2006-04-02 Switzerland Blogs

Thank you for the plug. :-)

StefanBucher 2006-04-03 19:30 UTC

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2006-04-02 Wikis

I think DanahBoyd’s essay about Frienster and MySpace is very important to all designers of social software. Friendster lost steam. Is MySpace just a fad? Recommended.

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2006-04-03 USA

Let’s hope OpticalIntercourse remains as free as it is for most college students. The article is about a college in the USA:

Its mission was to offer an education “based on the Christian traditional approach in contrast to the humanistic, progressive systems of education.”

Just to show that the fundamentalist Christians are closer than we like to believe here in Switzerland, for example.

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2006-04-04 Copyright

Ed Felten writes on FreedomToTinker about a Korean online music shop that sells music with and without DRM. The music with DRM is 40% cheaper. He concludes:

[…] DRM reduces customer value. But we knew that already. [1]

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2006-04-04 Islam

I was recently reading some material responding to the Danish comics controversey, and it seemed relevant to the discussions on this Web site at 2006-02-06 Islam Comics, Comments on 2006-03-10 Islam, and the concept of “RacismLight” generally. Danish Cartoons: Racism Has No Place on the Left by Deepa Kumar is quite good, and she has a followup with responses to common criticisms of the piece. Enjoy. – AaronHawley

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Comments on 2006-04-04 Islam

Thanks for those two links! I wish I could write like her.

AlexSchroeder 2006-04-04 15:07 UTC

Excellent links. Thanks!

Noufal Ibrahim 2006-04-04 16:08 UTC

Meh. I generally classify myself as “left-wing” - but that’s descriptive and not prescriptive. “I believe this and think that, so I’m mostly left-wing”, but I react quite negatively to “You’re left-wing, so you should believe this and think that” - which is a big part of the argument of that article :P Basically, instead of saying “The clash of civilization way of presenting things is wrong, because blablablah”, she says “If you believe in the clash of civilization thing, you’re a right-winger ! (And that should say enough!)”. (By the way, I don’t agree with the “clash of civilizations” way of presenting stuff either.)

I disagree with a lot in that article (I haven’t read through all of the second one though), but then we’ve already been through those things before :)

– EmileKroeger 2006-04-05 02:34 UTC

Compared to her other points, this is – to me – a trivial matter of style. I guess my wish to “write like her” would not include that particular aspect. ;)

AlexSchroeder 2006-04-05 10:01 UTC

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Meine Lieblingscousine hat ja soooo recht:

baby sein is eigentlich schon ziemlich lässig. schade dass unser leben nicht andersrum verläuft, zuerst alt sein, dann langsam immer jünger werden, die schmerzen werden weniger, dann hackelst ein bissi, musst dich aber nicht um die zukunft sorgen, weil du ja sowieso bald bei den eltern daheim wohnen wirst, schmeisst partys, gehst wieder zurück in die schule, wo jede klasse leichter ist als die vorige und beendest dein leben als orgasmus… [1]


being a baby must be pretty cool. too bad our lives don’t go the other way, be old first, then slowly turn younger, the pains go away, then work a little, don’t worry about the future, because soon you’ll be living with your parents anyway, throw parties, go back to school, every class is easier than the last one, and end your life in an orgasm…

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2006-04-05 Blogs

Damn, I think I missed CSS Naked Day! 😊

If you want to give it a try, switch CSS off and explore the site. Then come back here and switch it on again!

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2006-04-05 Europe

TelePolis writes about british Secretary of State for Defence John Reid’s speech at the Royal United Services Institute. [1] They rightly criticise Reid’s argument, that the war against terror is “complexer” and “are exacerbated by greater uncertainties ahead, be they ecological, economic, political or social.” – How come, they ask, that these changes are required now, when terrorrists have been common throughout the last decades: Terrorrists existed in all asymmetric wars: In Malaysia against the British, in Algeria against the French, in the Balkans against the Germans – terrorism is nothing new.

What exactly do we need to change? Longer imprisonment of suspects without them having the right to see a lawyer? Longer imprisonment of suspects without putting them to trial, preemptive strikes against foes, dependence on fabricated reports from an unreliable secret service? Those are changes for the worse, not for the better!

Some quotes from his speech [2]:

[…] warfare continues to evolve, and, in its moral dimensions, we have now to cope with a deliberate regression towards barbaric terrorism by our opponents. A few weeks ago I spoke […] about the uneven nature of the modern battlefield, and the unconstrained enemy ranged against us. Against this background, I called for all of us to be swifter to support, and slower to condemn our armed forces.

I don’t know. Wasn’t public criticism of our politics, and extra careful scrutiny of those allowed to use force in our socity what makes our ideals worthy?

[…] I was not, in any way, suggesting that British forces should operate outside the law. What I said was that the legal constraints upon us, when set against an enemy which adheres to none whatsoever, but is swift to insist that we do, made life very difficult for the forces of Democracy.

It seems to me that he’s suggesting that British forces should operate as they like, and in the mean time, we should change the laws to match. I don’t think that’s a good approach to lawmaking. At least he acknoledges that we should stick to our core values.

Until recently it was assumed that only states could cause mass casualties – and our rules, conventions & laws are largely predicated on that basis. That is quite plainly no longer the case. I believe we need now to consider whether we – the international community in its widest sense - need to re-examine these conventions. If we do not, we risk continuing to fight a 21st Century conflict with 20th Century rules.

I don’t see how the existance of a formidable foe, distributed, networked, stealthy, fanatical, patient, and so on – I don’t see how the existence of such a foe would prompt us to change the laws that reflect our core values. Our values haven’t changed, have they?

Reid doesn’t go into much detail, here, what concerns me about this speech is that it seems to move towards a weakening of the inrnational pacts, a slow abandoning of our core values. Contrary to what our politicians proclaim, many of them make laws that go against our core values, in the name of safety and security. I often doubt that these new laws do in fact increase our safety and security, and similarly, I wonder whether other, equally important values have been sacrificed.

I do appreciate the more positive end of his speech, by the way:

The question that people standing in a bus queue in my constitiuency ask when they see on their TV what is happening in Darfur, Rwanda, Congo or elsewhere is not “Why are we interested in intervening?”. The question they ask is “Why aren’t we doing more to help these people?” As long ago as 1948 the Genocide Convention provided in its first Article I that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which states undertake to prevent and to punish. Why, nearly 60 years later, do we find it so difficult to intervene?

The important part here, I think, is this: We should not ask whether we “fight a 21st Century conflict with 20th Century rules” – we should ask how we ended up in the 21st Century without solving our basic problems from the 20th Century.

The Genocide Convention, the DeclarationOfHumanRights, the GenevaConventions – it still seems to me that we should strive harder to live up to them, instead of trying to reform them. Let us aim high.

Update: It seems that Reid wrote a letter to the Guardian, saying:

In raising questions about the adequacy of the international legal framework in the light of modern developments in conflict, I am suggesting that the body of relevant international rules and conventions should, where beneficial, be strengthened, not weakened. If new agreements to cope with conflict against non-state actors such as the international terrorist will be helpful, we should not shy away from taking the initiative. This means extending, not reducing, such conventions. [3]

That would a positive interpretation of his speech. If that is indeed the result, I congratulate him. But let’s not forget how badly we’ve handled the conflict in Yugoslavia, for example. Kosova is far from being pacified. Now and then there are articles in the MondeDiplomatique highlighting how these regions have turned into centers of a slavetrade specializing in the prostitution of young women, for example. I’ve said before that we cannot entrust soldiers trained to kill and subdue with tasks such as securing the peace, rebuilding institutions – nation building. Extending the conventions allowing us to wage war in remote areas under the pretext of humanitarian causes should be accompanied by the appropriate commitments to actually resolve the humanitarian problems. Without these, we’ll be exacerbating the situation.

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2006-04-05 Music

I’ve been listening to UsagiRadio today. Found it via ShoutCast.

(\ /) (. .) (”) (”)

Awesome. :)

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2006-04-05 USA Europe

TelePolis writes about the discussions about the new immigration laws in the USA. [1] One of the good points they make is that the Senate Judiciary Committee refused to criminalize those who help illegal aliens – very much unlike recent developments here in Europe.

Außerdem lehnte der Ausschuss es ab, Organisationen und Personen in den USA, die sich für “Illegale” einsetzen, zu kriminalisieren. Eine solche Strafrechtsverschärfung, gebündelt mit einer Reihe von Maßnahmen, die die USA in die Nähe eines Grenzregimes a la “Festung Europa” rücken würden, hatte eine Mehrheit im Abgeordnetenhaus Ende letzten Jahres gefordert.

Here in Switzerland you are not allowed to help illegal aliens, criminalizing the very act of decency I think we should be supporting.

Dass die Immigrationsdebatte in den USA weit entfernt ist von Zuständen in Europa, das sich seit Jahren abschottet, während nur jeweils kleine politische Minderheiten eine offenere Einwanderungspolitik fordern, verdeutlicht eine Erklärung des Republikaner-Senators Lindsey Graham aus South Carolina. Die Legalisierung von Illegalen sei keineswegs eine “Amnestie”, sondern der “hart verdiente Weg und das hart verdiente Recht, ein Bürger zu werden”. Die USA, so Graham weiter, hätten “als Nation keine Chance ohne diese Arbeiter und ohne diese Menschen”.

Shame on us for not getting it.


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2006-04-06 Copyright

Jetzt passiert genau das, was ich bisher befürchtet habe: Statt dass wir uns mit den Vergütungspauschalen arrangieren, und diese z.B. zu einer Kultursteuer weiter entwicklen (wo man pro Breitband Anschluss eine Pauschale zahlt und dafür legal P2P Filesharing betreiben kann) – setzt die Industrie mit Hilfe von kurzsichtigen Gegnern der Vergütungspauschalen auf DRM.

Klar sind die Vergütungsgesellschaften reformbedürftig. Die Hälfte des Geldes versickert. Ein Teil der Abgaben könnte auch denjenigen zugute kommen, welche freie Software oder CreativeCommons lizentierte Musik auf CD brennen. In vielen Ländern (aber nicht in allen!) verlangen die Vergütungsgesellschaften, dass Mitglieder die Vergütungsansprüche an allen (!) ihren Werken der Gesellschaft abtreten – und damit wird es unmöglich, auf die Vergütung zu verzichten, wie das gewisse Lizenzen vorschreiben.

Vergütungsgesellschaften gehören reformiert, aber nicht abgeschafft.

Denn nun heisst es bei Heise beispielsweise:

Produzenten von Unterhaltungselektronik und IT-Geräten haben am gestrigen Mittwoch in Brüssel eine neue Lobby-Formation gegründet, um die Politik zu einer Abkehr vom System der Vergütungspauschalen zu bewegen. […] sie machen sich im Gegenzug für eine individuelle Vergütung der Kreativen mithilfe eines flächendeckenden Systems zum digitalen Rechtekontrollmanagement (DRM) stark. [1]


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I think I use too many smilies when writing online. ;)

I feel very uncomfortable when writing personal letters by hand these days, because inserting smilies is silly and yet I got so used to them. :)


I think what I would like to do is insert non-linear blocks of text onto a page, with arrows point at various paragraphs. Like: I’d like to point up at the first paragraph from here and write “See what I mean!?” as note alongside it.

Just arrows → lame!

Maybe I should start blogging using SVG!

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2006-04-07 Books

Finished Iron Sunrise by Charles Stross. It wasn’t as surprising as Singularity Sky (2005-12-13 Books) was to me. I devoured it anyway. :)

CharlieStross even got mentioned on the EmacsChannel when somebody (was it BrianPalmer?) suddenly forbade “the use of causality violating weapons with the light-cone of Earth”. That was clear giveaway!

Google:causality+violating → weird!

Anyway, I found a nice and short review of Iron Sunrise on the web.

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2006-04-08 Books

I started reading Planet of Adventure by Jack Vance. It feels weird to read Science Fiction written in the sixties. There are four novels in this book. The first, City of the Chosch, is © 1968.

The style reminds me a bit of Roger Zelazny. The story is a long string of events that seem to have no hold over my soul. I feel detached; I care not. Like an intellectual exercise, like a movie with interesting elements: backgrounds, costumes, and yet, soulless. The cuts are too regular, the scenes are too long, character development is lacking – it sounds harsher than it is, because I’m trying to describe the subtle factors that disturb me. I’m not sure whether this effect is due to the age of the books.

After reading these books, I will have to read a more recent piece by Jack Vance. To see how he has evolved.

I remember reading Marion Zimmer Bradley books as a teenager. They had a totally different effect on me. I felt upset, dislocated – unnerved as a young man realizing what adults do, what it means to be an adult in our society. How social pressure affects you, how sexual values are subtly ingrained in our social fabric.

It was weird at the time, and thinking back, I cannot help but shake my head in wonder. I think I read The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley when I was about twelve. I was moved, but today it seems to me as if I was far too young.

Like my best friend’s daughter, who knows how to read, but still doesn’t quite understand the stories she’s reading. I feel like watching animated puppets wondering about the lives of men.

Those Darkover novels by Marion Zimmer Bradley were sexually charged. I remember feeling bad about being a man. And I also remember one evening I asked my father, whether men do in fact think about sex as often as I had read. He paused. Then he said: Probably.

I remember I wrote about this before, searched for it, and found the ArthurianRomance page. Hehe.

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2006-04-08 Patents

KevinMarks writes about PatentTrolls, giving some examples of how software patents made sure that “technology ready to ship was deferred pending legal agreement on more than one occasion”. (Marks worked on Quicktime, for example, so I assume he knows what he is talking about.)

He also links to a PaulGraham essay on SoftwarePatents: Are Software Patents Evil? I like it when he says: “When a company starts fighting over IP, it’s a sign they’ve lost the real battle, for users.”

I agree with Marks, however: Graham describes the situation quite well when it comes to startups and big companies (big companies don’t sue small companies, and small companies don’t sue each other) – big companies just threaten to sue each other in a kind of nuclear deterrence. This is how they prevent competition.

No, less of this kind of competition is bad for our economy, it is bad for users (that’s us). That would be the first reason to abolish the system. And there’s more. Graham talks about a critical aspect that will be more common in the future: Small companies usually don’t sue big companies over patent infringement because of the nuclear deterrence – the big companies will counter-sue and the smaller company will have to fold. But counter-suing only works when the smaller company works in the same field as the big company.

What if the smaller company is just a lawyer that bought the patents because another smaller company had to fold and sold its IP. Such a lawyer will probably not be violating any patent of the Microsofts and IBMs out there, and thus counter-suing will not work.

Those two points together make the entire system untenable.

So, what’s Graham’s take on these people, these patent trolls? He says:

Patent trolls are companies consisting mainly of lawyers whose whole business is to accumulate patents and threaten to sue companies who actually make things. […] Patent trolls seem to have caught big companies by surprise. In the last couple years they’ve extracted hundreds of millions of dollars from them. Patent trolls are hard to fight precisely because they create nothing. Big companies are safe from being sued by other big companies because they can threaten a counter-suit. But because patent trolls don’t make anything, there’s nothing they can be sued for. I predict this loophole will get closed fairly quickly, at least by legal standards. It’s clearly an abuse of the system, and the victims are powerful.

I certainly hope that the abuse will be stopped, and soon, but I don’t know how this will come about.

Graham then goes on to say that software patents “don’t affect innovation much, one way or the other.” That’s probably true. But they make life harder for everybody, and specially free software. It’s nice to know that the blades pointing at you will probably never budge, but it’s much nicer if you know that there are no blades. It’s better to know you have a right to develop software instead of hoping that others will not be interested in suing you.

Yes, secrecy is a problem. As far as I can tell, however, we have this kind of secrecy anywhere. I haven’t read many patent applications, but the few that I read where terrible to read. Not useful. Free source code and reverse engineering continue to be the methods of choice to prevent secrets. Patents are not helping.

So, what should be our first step? I don’t like revolutions, and I no longer believe in sweeping political changes. The state and its institutions were built to last, bureaucracy adds inertia to everything in order to make it stable, impervious to sudden changes. The first thing I suggest we do is reduce the protected time window.

Twenty five years is too much in the software industry. Even five years is like an eternity. Who wants software build on ideas five years old? But it would be a start. Reduce the protection to five years.

(I tried to WriteForSkimming – did it work?)

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2006-04-10 Copyright Switzerland

Heise hat eine interessante Zusammenfassung der Reaktionen auf die geplante Urheberrechtsrevision: Schweiz will Kopierschutzknacken für Privatkopien gestatten.


Comments on 2006-04-10 Copyright Switzerland

ich habe darüber vor kurzem einen artikel gelesen. interessant finde ich auch, dass das kopieren von datenträger, die ich z.b. von der bibliothek ausleihe, gestattet ist.

zeno 2006-04-13 17:52 UTC

Das war aber schon immer gestattet: Die Kopie zum Eigengebrauch ist über die Abgabe auf Kassetten abgegolten. Das Kopieren einer CD aus der Bibliothek auf einen CD Rohling, der für Daten gedacht ist, bleibt meiner Meinung nach allerdings verboten, denn auf den Rohling wurde keine Abgabe erhoben. Deswegen wollen die Rechteinhaber natürlich Abgaben auf alle möglichen Geräte erheben: Um genau diese Kopie zum Eigengebrauch zu entgelten.

Das Recht auf eine Kopie zum Eigengebraucht erlaubt es dir allerdings nicht, ein Werk zu verbreiten. Du darfst ein Werk innerhalb deines engen Familien- und Freundeskreises herumreichen, aber nicht von deinem PC aus Millionen von Leuten zum Download anbieten. Das Recht, ein Werk einem gewissen Kreis von Benutzern zugänglich zu machen, muss auch wieder abgegolten werden. Dies ist für Bibliotheken gegeben.

Deine Aussage ist stimmt also im Detail nicht. ;)

Wenn du es allerdings ganz genau wissen willst, dann müsste ich das mit den Jungs von Openlaw diskutieren. Finde ich auf alle Fälle eine interessante Frage. Man sollte heutzutage wissen, welchen Einfluss Urheberrecht, Patentrecht und Markenrecht auf uns haben. Diese Gesetze sind für die Informationsgesellschaft genauso essentiel wie die Verkehrsregeln für Autofahrer. Man kann sich dagegen sträuben, aber das schützt vor Strafe nicht…

AlexSchroeder 2006-04-13 18:34 UTC

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2006-04-12 Blogs

HenriPoole is a board member of the Free Software Foundation and of Mandriva fame. His blog at CivicActions may be of interest to your BlogRoll since he’s an advocate and activist with free software and online communities and a techno-progressive sort. – AaronHawley

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2006-04-12 Germany

TelePolis über die Rütli-Schule:

Einen besonders bitteren Nachgeschmack hinterlässt die reflexhafte Instrumentalisierung der Rütli-Schüler und ihrer Probleme durch Law-und-Order-Politiker verschiedener Coleur. Für sie war der Medienauftrieb in Berlin Neukölln nichts als ein weiterer Anlass, neue Knüppel gegen Einwanderer aus dem Sack zu zaubern. Am derbsten ging man wieder einmal in Bayern vor: Sechsjährige, die keine ausreichenden Deutschkenntnisse haben, sollen auf Sonderschulen abgeschoben werden. Statt also nach rund 50 Jahren Einwanderung endlich dafür zu sorgen, dass alle Kinder, die es nötig haben, rechtzeitig und intensiv eine Sprachförderung bekommen, soll der Selektionswahn des dreigliedrigen Schulsystems – dieses erzreaktionären Überbleibsels des preußischen Drei-Klassen-Wahlrechts – auf die Spitze getrieben werden. Segregation statt Integration heißt nicht nur in Bayern die Devise vieler Politiker.

Der ganze Artikel ist eigentlich eher ein “rant” – eine emotionale Anklage der Missstände, die sich eins zu eins auch auf die Schweiz übertragen lassen. Auch wir haben ein dreigeteiltes Schulsystem, auch wir reproduzieren die ökonomischen Verhältnisse der Eltern via “Eigenverantwortung” in der Schulbildung der Kinder und deren ökonomischer Zukunft.

Bemerkenswert finde ich den Namen, denn die ersten schweizer Eidgenossen haben der Legende nach auf dem Rütli den Eid geleistet.

Rütlischwur auf der Rütliwiese

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2006-04-12 Islam

TelePolis schaut sich die Abschlusserklärung der Konferenz für europäische Imame und !SeelsorgerInnen an, und bleibt kritisch:

Darin bekräftigten die 130 muslimischen Geistlichen aus 40 Ländern ihr schon 2003 in Graz geäußertes Bekenntnis zu Pluralismus, Demokratie, Rechtsstaatlichkeit und den Menschenrechten. Deutlich wendete man sich vom Extremismus ab, kritisierte aber auch die wachsende Feindlichkeit und Diskriminierung gegenüber den Muslimen, deren Religion mit Terrorismus gleichgesetzt werde. Aber man sieht sich auch in der Pflicht, sich deutlicher zu äußern – und zeigt trotz aller Bemühungen, dass es noch viel zu tun gibt. [1]

Die schwachen Aussagen zum Thema Scharia und Kopftuch geben Telepolis Anlass zur Kritik.

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Comments on 2006-04-12 Islam

Die Karfreitagsprozession in Rom bietet auch Gelegenheit, das Familienbild der Katholiken zu kritisieren. [1]

Sicher ist ein schmerzliches Leiden Gottes der Angriff auf die Familie. Es scheint, als gebe es heute eine Art Anti-Genesis, einen Gegen-Entwurf, einen diabolischen Hochmut, der die Familie abschaffen will.

Der Mensch möchte die Familie neu erfinden, die Grammatik des Lebens selbst, von Gott so ersonnen und gewollt, möchte er verändern.

Doch sich an Gottes Stelle zu setzen, ohne Gott zu sein, ist die dümmste Arroganz, ist das gefährlichste Abenteuer. – aus einem der Zitate der Gebete und Mediationen im Artikel

Erstaunlich, da wir ja in anderen Formen des Zusammenlebens uns auch weiter entwickelt haben und nicht die Bibel um Rat fragen.

AlexSchroeder 2006-04-15 10:13 UTC

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2006-04-12 Music

Hm, just discovered that SomaFM has two new radio stations that I must have missed.

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2006-04-13 Blogs

I really have to spend more time writing the summaries for my blog. I worked on a form to help readers produce to the feed they really need (RSS), and noticed that not all of my summaries are useful.

Stuff I want for my summaries from now on:

  1. no more wiki markup
  2. no incomplete sentences, no simple list of keywords
  3. correct capitalization

Maybe I’ll try to write some more German stuff, too.

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2006-04-13 Books

Argh! I just bought Envisioning Information, Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative, and The Visual Display of Quantitative Information – three books by Edward R. Tufte.

Books and my purse are like matter and anti-matter: POOF!!

I think I’ll no longer link to shops where you can order books online. Most people should have their favorite shops anyway. In fact, I changed my markup rules such that they point to Google searches instead. We’ll see how that works out.


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2006-04-13 Iran

Eigentlich schon erstaunlich. TelePolis zitiert eine Umfrage der Los Angeles Times aus der hervorgeht, dass fast die Hälfte der Amerikaner (48%) eine militärische Intervention im Iran unterstützen.

Was auch immer in den nächsten Tagen bis zum Ablauf der Frist, die dem Iran vom UN-Sicherheitsrat gesetzt wurde, geschehen wird, so zirkulieren schon länger Gerüchte darüber, dass die Bush-Regierung eine militärische Intervention plant oder sich zumindest darauf vorbereitet. Trotz des Desasters im Irak und in Afghanistan würde fast die Hälfte der Amerikaner (48%) hinter Bush stehen und eine militärische Intervention unterstützen, wenn der Iran weiterhin waffenfähiges Uran anreichert. Das ist das erstaunliche Ergebnis einer aktuellen, von der der Los Angeles Times und Bloomberg in Auftrag gegebenen Umfrage, die kurz vor der Mitteilung der iranischen Führung durchgeführt wurde, dass man mit der Anreicherung begonnen habe. Möglicherweise würden jetzt mit dem erneuten Druck der US-Regierung, scharf gegen den Iran vorzugehen, mehr einen Militärschlag befürworten. Zur Zeit der Umfrage lehnten noch 40% eine militärische Intervention ab. [1]

Natürlich ist mir auch klar, dass im Iran vor allem finstere Kerle an der Macht sitzen. Ob das allerdings eine Bombardierung gerechtfertigt (speziell mit den von Seymour M. Hersh aufgeführten Ausweitungen) auf andere Ziele), steht auf einem anderen Blatt. Und was soll denn genau der Plan sein, nach einem Bombardement? Wenn die Iraner Israel oder Saudi Arabien angreifen, wird dann weiter gebombt? Und wenn dann der Iran Millionen an die Grenze schickt, werden die dann auch alle zugebombt?

Da scheint es mir vernünftiger, mit der militärischen Antwort noch zu warten und erst einmal die internationalen Organisationen zu stärken, wie beispielsweise die Internationale Atomenergiebehörde.

Aber erschreckend finde ich schon auch, wie leicht hier mit Krieg und Elend gedroht wird. Im Iran liegt die Lage mit der Verantwortung natürlich etwas anders: Im Iran gibt es nämlich Wahlen, und die Iraner haben für Ahmadinedschad gestimmt, und nicht für einen gemässigteren Kandidaten. In dem Sinne teilen natürlich alle die Verantwortung für seine harte Linie. Ob sie als Strafe dafür nun aber den Krieg verdienen, bezweifle ich.

Vor allem würde ich nun aber gerne sehen, dass der Iran gerecht im Sinne des Atomwaffensperrvertrag behandelt wird.

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2006-04-13 Patents

Heise über ein dreitägiges Treffen des Ständigen Ausschusses für Patentrecht (SCPL) der WIPO:

Aufseiten der Entwicklungsländer ist man zudem nicht bereit, einer Harmonisierung zuzustimmen, die lediglich auf ein Mehr an Patentanmeldungen hinausläuft. Die wesentlichen Probleme, warnte ein brasilianischer Wissenschaftler beim WIPO-Patentforum Anfang März, würden durch die Harmonisierungsbestrebung nämlich nicht gelöst: “explosionsartiges Wachstum an Patenten, schlechte Patentqualität und die missbräuchliche Nutzung”. [1]

Interessant fand ich die Aussage zur Geheimhaltung: “Derzeit gilt in Deutschland für Patentanmeldungen – anders als bei Gebrauchsmustern –, dass ein Erfinder seine Idee in keiner Weise öffentlich machen darf, da er sie sonst nicht mehr zum Patent anmelden kann. Nicht zuletzt für Wissenschaftler stellt dies ein Problem dar…” Vielleicht ist das ja ganz gerecht so: Wer auf den Schultern von Riesen steht, soll keine Monopolansprüche anmelden können. (Siehe DeutscheWikipedia:Auf den Schultern von Giganten.)

Dieser ganze Patentemist gehört endlich ausgemistet. Auf obigem Heise Artikel gibt es auch ein paar Links zum Thema WIPO, Urheberrecht, Patentrecht, und Entwicklungspolitik. Da müsste man sich mal einlesen, wenn man einen Vortrag zum Thema halten müsste.

Witzig auf der oben genannten Wikipedia Seite ist diese Variante des Gleichnisses, die Hal Abelson zugeschrieben wird:

Wenn ich nicht so weit sehen konnte wie andere, so deshalb, weil Giganten auf meinen Schultern standen.

Klasse. :)

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2006-04-14 Gadgets

Hooked Claudia’s brother HL-5030 printer, plugged it into my iBook, and tried to print. No drivers! Googled for brother+drivers, downloaded the drivers, installed them, and printed. Worked! Noticed that those were CUPS drivers.

Booted up SlackWare box, tried to figure out how CUPS actually works. Made /etc/rc.d/rc.cups executable, ran it with the start parameter, looked at http://localhost:631/, didn’t get it, downloaded the drivers for Linux – .deb or .rpm – figured out how to extract the stuff from the .deb file, copied it into my directory tree using stow, installed it by looking at the postinst script. Looked at http://localhost:631/ again, found the new printer!

Tried to print the test page. Nothing.

Tried to print a PDF file. Nothing.

Everything seems to work except for the printing.


They’re all listed on http://localhost:631/jobs?which_jobs=completed – but the printer didn’t print them.

I think I’m going to cry a little, now.

~ alex $ lpq
HL5030 is ready
no entries
~ alex $ lpstat -p -d
printer HL5030 is idle.  enabled since Jan 01 00:00
system default destination: HL5030

When I look at http://localhost:631/printers/HL5030, I see that the device URI is usb:/dev/usb/lp0. I tried modifying the printer and choosing different USB devices + printing test pages, but that just resultet in error messages. When I use lp0, there are no error messages on the printer page. Thus, the CUPS system seems to know about the printer.

It’s just the jobs that vanish into nirvana.

The log files in /var/log/cups don’t show anything unusual.

The spool seems to know about all the print jobs:

root@confusibombus:/home/alex# ls /var/spool/cups/
c00001  c00004  c00007  c00010  c00013  c00016  c00019  tmp
c00002  c00005  c00008  c00011  c00014  c00017  c00020
c00003  c00006  c00009  c00012  c00015  c00018  c00021

The spool itself is considered empty:

root@confusibombus:/home/alex# lpstat -o


~ alex $ lp
request id is HL5030-24 (1 file(s))

No effect.

USB stuff seems to be ok, too. Notice the printer, here:

~ alex $ tail /proc/bus/usb/devices 
T:  Bus=01 Lev=01 Prnt=01 Port=03 Cnt=02 Dev#=  4 Spd=480 MxCh= 0
D:  Ver= 2.00 Cls=00(>ifc ) Sub=00 Prot=00 MxPS=64 #Cfgs=  1
P:  Vendor=04f9 ProdID=0015 Rev= 1.00
S:  Manufacturer=Brother
S:  Product=HL-5030
S:  SerialNumber=D3J309331
C:* #Ifs= 1 Cfg#= 1 Atr=c0 MxPwr=  2mA
I:  If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=07(print) Sub=01 Prot=02 Driver=usblp
E:  Ad=01(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=125us
E:  Ad=82(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms


~ alex $ ls -l /dev/usb/lp0 
crw-rw----  1 root lp 180, 0 2001-03-25 23:04 /dev/usb/lp0
~ alex $ groups
users bin disk floppy

Maybe that’s it?

root@confusibombus:/home/alex# usermod -G users,bin,disk,floppy,lp alex

Logging out and logging back in had no effect. :(

Maybe the cups daemon has a different group?

~ alex $ ps -o pid,group,cmd xa|grep cup
 2098 root     /usr/sbin/cupsd

I don’t think the cups daemon should have a problem writing anywhere. ;)

dmesg output:

Linux version 2.4.31 (root@tree) (gcc version 3.3.5) #6 Sun Jun 5 19:04:47 PDT 2005
BIOS-provided physical RAM map:
 BIOS-e820: 0000000000000000 - 000000000009fc00 (usable)
 BIOS-e820: 000000000009fc00 - 00000000000a0000 (reserved)
 BIOS-e820: 00000000000f0000 - 0000000000100000 (reserved)
 BIOS-e820: 0000000000100000 - 000000003dffc000 (usable)
 BIOS-e820: 000000003dffc000 - 000000003dfff000 (ACPI data)
 BIOS-e820: 000000003dfff000 - 000000003e000000 (ACPI NVS)
 BIOS-e820: 00000000fec00000 - 00000000fec01000 (reserved)
 BIOS-e820: 00000000fee00000 - 00000000fee01000 (reserved)
 BIOS-e820: 00000000ffff0000 - 0000000100000000 (reserved)
Warning only 896MB will be used.
Use a HIGHMEM enabled kernel.
896MB LOWMEM available.
On node 0 totalpages: 229376
zone(0): 4096 pages.
zone(1): 225280 pages.
zone(2): 0 pages.
Kernel command line: auto BOOT_IMAGE=Linux ro root=342
Initializing CPU#0
Detected 3000.923 MHz processor.
Console: colour VGA+ 80x25
Calibrating delay loop... 5989.99 BogoMIPS
Memory: 904376k/917504k available (1832k kernel code, 12740k reserved, 607k data, 120k init, 0k highmem)
Dentry cache hash table entries: 131072 (order: 8, 1048576 bytes)
Inode cache hash table entries: 65536 (order: 7, 524288 bytes)
Mount cache hash table entries: 512 (order: 0, 4096 bytes)
Buffer cache hash table entries: 65536 (order: 6, 262144 bytes)
Page-cache hash table entries: 262144 (order: 8, 1048576 bytes)
CPU: Trace cache: 12K uops, L1 D cache: 16K
CPU: L2 cache: 1024K
CPU:     After generic, caps: bfebfbff 00000000 00000000 00000000
CPU:             Common caps: bfebfbff 00000000 00000000 00000000
CPU: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.00GHz stepping 04
Enabling fast FPU save and restore... done.
Enabling unmasked SIMD FPU exception support... done.
Checking 'hlt' instruction... OK.
POSIX conformance testing by UNIFIX
mtrr: v1.40 (20010327) Richard Gooch (
mtrr: detected mtrr type: Intel
PCI: PCI BIOS revision 2.10 entry at 0xf10c0, last bus=1
PCI: Using configuration type 1
PCI: Probing PCI hardware
PCI: Probing PCI hardware (bus 00)
PCI: Using IRQ router default [1039/0963] at 00:02.0
Linux NET4.0 for Linux 2.4
Based upon Swansea University Computer Society NET3.039
Initializing RT netlink socket
Starting kswapd
VFS: Disk quotas vdquot_6.5.1
Journalled Block Device driver loaded
pty: 512 Unix98 ptys configured
Serial driver version 5.05c (2001-07-08) with HUB-6 MANY_PORTS MULTIPORT SHARE_IRQ SERIAL_PCI enabled
ttyS00 at 0x03f8 (irq = 4) is a 16550A
Real Time Clock Driver v1.10f
Floppy drive(s): fd0 is 1.44M
FDC 0 is a post-1991 82077
RAMDISK driver initialized: 16 RAM disks of 7777K size 1024 blocksize
loop: loaded (max 8 devices)
Uniform Multi-Platform E-IDE driver Revision: 7.00beta4-2.4
ide: Assuming 33MHz system bus speed for PIO modes; override with idebus=xx
SIS5513: IDE controller at PCI slot 00:02.5
SIS5513: chipset revision 0
SIS5513: not 100% native mode: will probe irqs later
SIS5513: SiS 962/963 MuTIOL IDE UDMA133 controller
    ide0: BM-DMA at 0xa400-0xa407, BIOS settings: hda:DMA, hdb:DMA
    ide1: BM-DMA at 0xa408-0xa40f, BIOS settings: hdc:DMA, hdd:DMA
hda: ST313021A, ATA DISK drive
hdb: Maxtor 6Y120L0, ATA DISK drive
blk: queue c03af460, I/O limit 4095Mb (mask 0xffffffff)
blk: queue c03af59c, I/O limit 4095Mb (mask 0xffffffff)
hdc: _NEC DVD_RW ND-3500AG, ATAPI CD/DVD-ROM drive
hdd: Maxtor 6Y120P0, ATA DISK drive
blk: queue c03af9f0, I/O limit 4095Mb (mask 0xffffffff)
ide0 at 0x1f0-0x1f7,0x3f6 on irq 14
ide1 at 0x170-0x177,0x376 on irq 15
hda: attached ide-disk driver.
hda: host protected area => 1
hda: 25434228 sectors (13022 MB) w/512KiB Cache, CHS=1583/255/63, UDMA(66)
hdb: attached ide-disk driver.
hdb: host protected area => 1
hdb: 240121728 sectors (122942 MB) w/2048KiB Cache, CHS=14946/255/63, UDMA(133)
hdd: attached ide-disk driver.
hdd: host protected area => 1
hdd: 240121728 sectors (122942 MB) w/7936KiB Cache, CHS=238216/16/63, UDMA(133)
hdc: attached ide-cdrom driver.
hdc: ATAPI 48X DVD-ROM DVD-R CD-R/RW drive, 2048kB Cache, UDMA(33)
Uniform CD-ROM driver Revision: 3.12
Partition check:
 hda: hda1 hda2 hda3 hda4 < hda5 hda6 hda7 hda8 hda9 >
 hdb: hdb1 hdb2 hdb3 hdb4 < hdb5 hdb6 >
 hdd: hdd1 hdd2 hdd3 hdd4 < hdd5 hdd6 hdd7 >
SCSI subsystem driver Revision: 1.00
kmod: failed to exec /sbin/modprobe -s -k scsi_hostadapter, errno = 2
kmod: failed to exec /sbin/modprobe -s -k scsi_hostadapter, errno = 2
kmod: failed to exec /sbin/modprobe -s -k scsi_hostadapter, errno = 2
md: linear personality registered as nr 1
md: raid0 personality registered as nr 2
md: raid1 personality registered as nr 3
md: raid5 personality registered as nr 4
raid5: measuring checksumming speed
   8regs     :  3282.000 MB/sec
   32regs    :  2204.400 MB/sec
   pIII_sse  :  5196.000 MB/sec
   pII_mmx   :  3266.000 MB/sec
   p5_mmx    :  3269.600 MB/sec
raid5: using function: pIII_sse (5196.000 MB/sec)
md: md driver 0.90.0 MAX_MD_DEVS=256, MD_SB_DISKS=27
md: Autodetecting RAID arrays.
md: autorun ...
md: ... autorun DONE.
LVM version 1.0.8(17/11/2003)
Initializing Cryptographic API
NET4: Linux TCP/IP 1.0 for NET4.0
IP Protocols: ICMP, UDP, TCP, IGMP
IP: routing cache hash table of 8192 buckets, 64Kbytes
TCP: Hash tables configured (established 262144 bind 65536)
Linux IP multicast router 0.06 plus PIM-SM
NET4: Unix domain sockets 1.0/SMP for Linux NET4.0.
kjournald starting.  Commit interval 5 seconds
EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
VFS: Mounted root (ext3 filesystem) readonly.
Freeing unused kernel memory: 120k freed
Adding Swap: 136544k swap-space (priority -1)
EXT3 FS 2.4-0.9.19, 19 August 2002 on ide0(3,66), internal journal
Linux agpgart interface v0.99 (c) Jeff Hartmann
agpgart: Maximum main memory to use for agp memory: 816M
agpgart: Unsupported SiS chipset (device id: 0661), you might want to try agp_try_unsupported=1.
agpgart: no supported devices found.
scsi0 : SCSI host adapter emulation for IDE ATAPI devices
kjournald starting.  Commit interval 5 seconds
EXT3 FS 2.4-0.9.19, 19 August 2002 on ide0(3,3), internal journal
EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
kjournald starting.  Commit interval 5 seconds
EXT3 FS 2.4-0.9.19, 19 August 2002 on ide0(3,5), internal journal
EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
kjournald starting.  Commit interval 5 seconds
EXT3 FS 2.4-0.9.19, 19 August 2002 on ide0(3,6), internal journal
EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
kjournald starting.  Commit interval 5 seconds
EXT3 FS 2.4-0.9.19, 19 August 2002 on ide0(3,7), internal journal
EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
kjournald starting.  Commit interval 5 seconds
EXT3 FS 2.4-0.9.19, 19 August 2002 on ide0(3,8), internal journal
EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
kjournald starting.  Commit interval 5 seconds
EXT3 FS 2.4-0.9.19, 19 August 2002 on ide0(3,9), internal journal
EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
kjournald starting.  Commit interval 5 seconds
EXT3 FS 2.4-0.9.19, 19 August 2002 on ide0(3,67), internal journal
EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
kjournald starting.  Commit interval 5 seconds
EXT3 FS 2.4-0.9.19, 19 August 2002 on ide0(3,70), internal journal
EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
kjournald starting.  Commit interval 5 seconds
EXT3 FS 2.4-0.9.19, 19 August 2002 on ide1(22,65), internal journal
EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
kjournald starting.  Commit interval 5 seconds
EXT3 FS 2.4-0.9.19, 19 August 2002 on ide1(22,66), internal journal
EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
kjournald starting.  Commit interval 5 seconds
EXT3 FS 2.4-0.9.19, 19 August 2002 on ide1(22,67), internal journal
EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
kjournald starting.  Commit interval 5 seconds
EXT3 FS 2.4-0.9.19, 19 August 2002 on ide1(22,69), internal journal
EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
kjournald starting.  Commit interval 5 seconds
EXT3 FS 2.4-0.9.19, 19 August 2002 on ide1(22,70), internal journal
EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
kjournald starting.  Commit interval 5 seconds
EXT3 FS 2.4-0.9.19, 19 August 2002 on ide1(22,71), internal journal
EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
ath_hal: (AR5210, AR5211, AR5212, RF5111, RF5112, RF2413)
ath_rate_onoe: 1.0
ath0: 11b rates: 1Mbps 2Mbps 5.5Mbps 11Mbps
ath0: 11g rates: 1Mbps 2Mbps 5.5Mbps 11Mbps 6Mbps 9Mbps 12Mbps 18Mbps 24Mbps 36Mbps 48Mbps 54Mbps
ath0: mac 5.6 phy 4.1 radio 1.7
ath0: 802.11 address: 00:09:5b:e7:15:2c
ath0: Use hw queue 0 for WME_AC_BE traffic
ath0: Use hw queue 1 for WME_AC_BK traffic
ath0: Use hw queue 2 for WME_AC_VI traffic
ath0: Use hw queue 3 for WME_AC_VO traffic
ath0: Atheros 5212: mem=0xe4000000, irq=10
ohci1394: $Rev: 1045 $ Ben Collins <>
ohci1394_0: OHCI-1394 1.1 (PCI): IRQ=[11]  MMIO=[e5000000-e50007ff]  Max Packet=[2048]
sis900.c: v1.08.07 11/02/2003
eth0: VIA 6103 PHY transceiver found at address 1.
eth0: Using transceiver found at address 1 as default
eth0: SiS 900 PCI Fast Ethernet at 0x8800, IRQ 3, 00:11:2f:4a:c1:7f.
usb.c: registered new driver usbdevfs
usb.c: registered new driver hub
ehci_hcd 00:03.3: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] USB 2.0 Controller
ehci_hcd 00:03.3: irq 9, pci mem f88ac000
usb.c: new USB bus registered, assigned bus number 1
PCI: cache line size of 128 is not supported by device 00:03.3
ehci_hcd 00:03.3: USB 2.0 enabled, EHCI 1.00, driver 2003-Dec-29/2.4
ieee1394: Host added: ID:BUS[0-00:1023]  GUID[0001b7000000b64e]
hub.c: USB hub found
hub.c: 6 ports detected
usb-ohci.c: USB OHCI at membase 0xf88b4000, IRQ 5
usb-ohci.c: usb-00:03.0, Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] USB 1.0 Controller
usb.c: new USB bus registered, assigned bus number 2
hub.c: USB hub found
hub.c: 3 ports detected
usb-ohci.c: USB OHCI at membase 0xf88b6000, IRQ 9
usb-ohci.c: usb-00:03.1, Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] USB 1.0 Controller (#2)
usb.c: new USB bus registered, assigned bus number 3
hub.c: USB hub found
hub.c: 3 ports detected
intel8x0_measure_ac97_clock: measured 44369 usecs
intel8x0: clocking to 48000
hub.c: new USB device 00:03.3-3, assigned address 2
usb.c: USB device 2 (vend/prod 0x59f/0x351) is not claimed by any active driver.
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
shpchp: shpc_init : shpc_cap_offset == 0
shpchp: Standard Hot Plug PCI Controller Driver version: 0.4
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
pciehp: PCI Express Hot Plug Controller Driver version: 0.5
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
shpchp: shpc_init : shpc_cap_offset == 0
shpchp: Standard Hot Plug PCI Controller Driver version: 0.4
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
pciehp: PCI Express Hot Plug Controller Driver version: 0.5
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
shpchp: shpc_init : shpc_cap_offset == 0
shpchp: Standard Hot Plug PCI Controller Driver version: 0.4
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
pciehp: PCI Express Hot Plug Controller Driver version: 0.5
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
shpchp: shpc_init : shpc_cap_offset == 0
shpchp: Standard Hot Plug PCI Controller Driver version: 0.4
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
pciehp: PCI Express Hot Plug Controller Driver version: 0.5
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
shpchp: shpc_init : shpc_cap_offset == 0
shpchp: Standard Hot Plug PCI Controller Driver version: 0.4
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
pciehp: PCI Express Hot Plug Controller Driver version: 0.5
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
shpchp: shpc_init : shpc_cap_offset == 0
shpchp: Standard Hot Plug PCI Controller Driver version: 0.4
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
pciehp: PCI Express Hot Plug Controller Driver version: 0.5
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
shpchp: shpc_init : shpc_cap_offset == 0
shpchp: Standard Hot Plug PCI Controller Driver version: 0.4
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
pciehp: PCI Express Hot Plug Controller Driver version: 0.5
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
shpchp: shpc_init : shpc_cap_offset == 0
shpchp: Standard Hot Plug PCI Controller Driver version: 0.4
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
pciehp: PCI Express Hot Plug Controller Driver version: 0.5
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
shpchp: shpc_init : shpc_cap_offset == 0
shpchp: Standard Hot Plug PCI Controller Driver version: 0.4
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
pciehp: PCI Express Hot Plug Controller Driver version: 0.5
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
shpchp: shpc_init : shpc_cap_offset == 0
shpchp: Standard Hot Plug PCI Controller Driver version: 0.4
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
pciehp: PCI Express Hot Plug Controller Driver version: 0.5
Initializing USB Mass Storage driver...
usb.c: registered new driver usb-storage
scsi1 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
  Vendor: Maxtor    Model: 7Y250P0           Rev: YAR4
  Type:   Direct-Access                      ANSI SCSI revision: 02
Attached scsi disk sda at scsi1, channel 0, id 0, lun 0
SCSI device sda: 490234752 512-byte hdwr sectors (251000 MB)
 sda: sda1
WARNING: USB Mass Storage data integrity not assured
USB Mass Storage device found at 2
USB Mass Storage support registered.
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
shpchp: shpc_init : shpc_cap_offset == 0
shpchp: Standard Hot Plug PCI Controller Driver version: 0.4
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
pciehp: PCI Express Hot Plug Controller Driver version: 0.5
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
shpchp: shpc_init : shpc_cap_offset == 0
shpchp: Standard Hot Plug PCI Controller Driver version: 0.4
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
pciehp: PCI Express Hot Plug Controller Driver version: 0.5
uhci.c: USB Universal Host Controller Interface driver v1.1
usb-uhci.c: $Revision: 1.275 $ time 18:53:41 Jun  5 2005
usb-uhci.c: High bandwidth mode enabled
usb-uhci.c: v1.275:USB Universal Host Controller Interface driver
parport0: PC-style at 0x378 (0x778) [PCSPP,TRISTATE,EPP]
parport0: irq 7 detected
lp0: using parport0 (polling).
hub.c: new USB device 00:03.3-4, assigned address 3
usb.c: USB device 3 (vend/prod 0x4f9/0x15) is not claimed by any active driver.
usb.c: registered new driver usblp
printer.c: usblp0: USB Bidirectional printer dev 3 if 0 alt 0 proto 2 vid 0x04F9 pid 0x0015
printer.c: v0.13: USB Printer Device Class driver
usb.c: USB disconnect on device 00:03.3-4 address 3
printer.c: usblp0: removed
hub.c: new USB device 00:03.3-4, assigned address 4
printer.c: usblp0: USB Bidirectional printer dev 4 if 0 alt 0 proto 2 vid 0x04F9 pid 0x0015

Looks as if some USB lp0 should be the printer…

Next, I edited /etc/cups/cups.conf and changed !LogLevel from info to debug. Then I restarted using /etc/rc.d/rc.cups restart.

And here’s what /var/log/cups/error_log has to say:

I [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] Listening to 0:631
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] AddLocation: added location '/'
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] DenyIP: / deny 00000000/00000000
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] AllowIP: / allow 7f000001/ffffffff
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] AddLocation: added location '/admin'
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] DenyIP: /admin deny 00000000/00000000
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] AllowIP: /admin allow 7f000001/ffffffff
I [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] Loaded configuration file "/etc/cups/cupsd.conf"
I [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] Configured for up to 100 clients.
I [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] Allowing up to 100 client connections per host.
I [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] Full reload is required.
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllPrinters: Loading printer HL5030...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "ipp"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "lpd"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "usb://Brother/HL-5030%20series"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "usb:/dev/usb/lp1"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "usb:/dev/usb/lp2"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "usb:/dev/usb/lp3"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "usb:/dev/usb/lp4"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "usb:/dev/usb/lp5"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "usb:/dev/usb/lp6"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "usb:/dev/usb/lp7"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "usb:/dev/usb/lp8"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "usb:/dev/usb/lp9"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "usb:/dev/usb/lp10"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "usb:/dev/usb/lp11"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "usb:/dev/usb/lp12"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "usb:/dev/usb/lp13"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "usb:/dev/usb/lp14"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "usb:/dev/usb/lp15"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "scsi"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "parallel:/dev/lp0"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS0?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS1?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS2?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS3?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS4?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS5?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS6?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS7?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS8?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS9?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS10?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS11?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS12?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS13?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS14?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS15?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS16?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS17?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS18?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS19?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS20?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS21?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS22?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS23?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS24?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS25?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS26?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS27?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS28?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS29?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS30?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "serial:/dev/ttyS31?baud=115200"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "socket"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "smb"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "http"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "epson:/dev/lp0"...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadDevices: Added device "canon:/dev/lp0"...
I [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadPPDs: Read "/etc/cups/ppds.dat", 562 PPDs...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadPPDs: Updating ppd "brhl5030_cups.ppd"...
I [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadPPDs: Wrote "/etc/cups/ppds.dat", 562 PPDs...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Scanning /var/spool/cups...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 1...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 2...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 3...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 4...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 5...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 6...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 7...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 8...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 9...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 10...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 11...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 12...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 14...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 13...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 15...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 16...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 17...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 18...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 19...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 20...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 21...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 22...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 23...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 24...
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] LoadAllJobs: Loading attributes for job 25...
I [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] Full reload complete.
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] StartListening: NumListeners=1
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] StartListening: address=00000000 port=631
D [15/Apr/2006:18:24:54 +0200] ResumeListening: setting input bits...

Notice how there is no /dev/usb/lp0 – there’s only /dev/usb/lp1 and a /dev/lp0.

I went back to modify the printer again on http://localhost:631/printers/HL5030 and changed the device type again (picking the first USB printer). I think that’s what it used to be, but I’m ready to try again.

Strange: Now the printer page says that the device URI is usb://Brother/HL-5030%20series – hm, that’s new!

But, unfortunately, still no effect.


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Comments on 2006-04-14 Gadgets

It turns out that EricRaymond has written a rant about CUPS on 2006-04-11 – only a few days before I posted my original CUPS story! His opinion? “I eventually had to apply m4d skillz gained from wrestling with sendmail to solve a problem the CUPS documentation never even hinted about.”

AlexSchroeder 2006-06-14 14:02 UTC

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2006-04-15 Books

Nachdem ich den TelePolis Artikel zu Tanger gelesen habe [1], ist mir wieder eingefallen, wie gut es mir damals in Tanger gefallen hat (2003-07-11, 2003-07-12). Und dann habe ich spontan beschlossen, eines der Bücher zu bestellen, welches im Telepolis Artikel erwähnt wurde: Tanger Telegramm von Florian Vetsch und Boris Kerenski (Hsg.) – eine deutsche Anthologie von Texten von und über Tanger.

Mein Stapel ungelesener Bücher nimmt ungeahnte Ausmasse an.

Wenigstens have ich Planet of Adventure von Jack Vance beendet. War ganz amüsant, würde ich aber nicht weiter empfehlen. Eine ewige Odyssee durch fantastische Landschaften mit flachen Charakteren und sehr wenig zwischenmenschlichen Material: Mir fehlt etwas Spannendes zum Thema Beziehungen & Politik, vermute ich.

Zeit, mit der türkischen Anthologie anzufangen: Von Istanbul nach Hakkâri von Tevfik Turan (Hrsg.)

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2006-04-15 Music

I found a site called UbuWeb via KevinMarks’ blog [1]: “!UbuWeb is a completely independent resource dedicated to all strains of the avant-garde, ethnopoetics, and outsider arts.”

I’m not sure whether I should feel overwhelmed or amazed.

Marks linked to DJ Food - Raiding the 20th Century - Words & Music Expansion (starring Paul Morley and a cast of thousands). 70MB of weirdness!

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2006-04-15 Switzerland

The Worldmapper project shows “the world as you’ve never seen it before” – such as the InternationalImmigrants map, showing country area proportional to the number of people born in a territory different to where they now live. That seems to be a better measure than “foreigners” because here in Switzerland, it is really hard to get citizenship, where as it might be easier in other countries. Our high number of foreigners is therefore not only due to the high number of immigrants, it is also due to the long delay before foreign nationals can get citizenship.

via the O'Reilly Radar [1]

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2006-04-16 Movies

We went to see Transamerica (2005) today. It was a nice movie, but the topic itself is quite alien to me. ;)


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2006-04-17 Gadgets

GreyWulf explains how to optain a Linux to go, on a shoestring and gives us 101 uses for a $50 Linux laptop. Spread the word!

I use the smallest and cheapest iBook – a 14” thing with a 30GB harddisk, upgraded with some RAM (1.25GB). It does everything I want it to do – any many things I could do with much less. Specially that often enough I have my laptop hooked up to my radio on my bedside table (2006-01-14 Gadgets).

The iBook in the mess we call our living room

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Comments on 2006-04-17 Gadgets

Hi, Alex. Glad you liked the posts :) Thanks for stopping by.

greywulf 2006-04-17 21:41 UTC

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2006-04-17 Games

I’ve decided to give away my Playstation 1 and my Dreamcast, with all the games I had for them. Suddenly nostalgia got hold of me…


  • I never finished Legend of Mana!
  • The hours I played Micro Machines V3
  • I loved Rayman even though I never finished it.
  • Vagrant Story – the game I nearly finished, except for the last boss. It still hurts!
  • Final Fantasy Tactics belongs to one of the BestGamesEver! Much better than Vandal Hearts II, which I never finished. It was cool last time I played it, but I did not like the artwork much. And the problem with all these tactics games is that once you get to the higher levels, you need less and less tactics. That is sad.
  • The days we played Tekken 3 in the basement of our house in Schärenmoosstrasse – six lunatics under one roof. All of us in our early twenties. It was wild.
  • Then Soulblade appeared and Tekken was forgotten. It was so incredibly cool. So amazing. We were entranced. We wasted days. We loved it. I remember knowing a superb jump with Siegfried followed by two evil hits that nobody managed to block for days and weeks. I was the master of the game! Until Marc learnt how to fight with Taki… → BestGamesEver!

Famous games that never made it on my list: Final Fantasy 7 and 9, Castlevania, Metal Gear Solid, GTa2, Star Ocean: The Second Story.


  • Sonic Adventure – the first reason I bought the Dreamcast. The sequel didn’t fascinate me as much.
  • Power Stone – the second reason I bought the Dreamcast.
  • Rayman 2 – I don’t remember why I stopped playing. Did it get too difficult? Or was Jack & Daxter just better? I spent a lot of time with this game at first.
  • The hours I played Crazy Taxi… Crashing into everything, loud rock’n’roll music, people fleeing in a panic, old grandmas giving extra tips for crazy stunts, the first time I made it to “awesome” – it was awesome!!
  • The days I lived in Shenmue I+II
  • One of the best games ever: Jet Set Radio! And I finished it. It was fantastic.
  • The first car racing game I liked and which I played until I had unlocked all but a handful of cars: Metropolis Street Racer!
  • And finally, the reason two others in our house decided to buy the same console, and the same game, even though we all lived under the same roof: Soul Calibur. We went nuts. Our minds blanked out. Mitsurugi, Voldo, Taki – who was it going to be?

Popular stuff I didn’t like: Grandia 2, Sonic Adventure 2, Crazy Tax 2, Virtua Fighter 3tb, Ecco, Headhunter, Virtua Tennis 2.

Playstation 2:

I’ve decided to move some reviews from the old game review page I had to this page. Since these games did not belong the the BestGamesEver category, I decided that they should be moved to an ordinary DayPage.

  • I loved Virtual Fighter 4 (VF4). I spent hours in front of the TV. But I am not enough of a fanatic to learn all the moves and counters there are. When a reversal succeeds, I am already more than happy. It beat Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast – graphix are inferiour, but gameplay against your friends is superior. You don’t just always repeat the three or four moves you know, because it is so easy to defend yourself. But Soul Calibur 3 was even better!
  • Medal of Honor: Frontline looked terribly good. Intense atmosphere, sound samples, colors – but I found it rather difficult. But then again I am not that much of an ego shooter person. I played the shareware version of Doom, and that’s it. I never played much of Quake II which I had bought for the Playstation. I have returned to playing Medal of Honor several times now, which is a very good sign!
  • Jack & Daxter – loved it! It got a bit more difficult, but having the entire scenery be undivided is totally cool. You can see to the other end of the world, if you stand on a high hill! There are no “Levels”; details just get streamed in the background. Mission goals are collected as you go, so that you can go back to unfinished missions any time. At around 50% through the game some of these passages got frustrating. I hate a game that makes it harder to continue – I bought the damn game, so let me play it without making me feel like an idiot. I enjoy games where it gets harder to do well. I just hate games where it gets harder to play at all.
  • Ratchet & Clank – strange to see some of the bad points in previous games repeated in newer games. Does nobody ever think about JumpAndRunDesign? Or perhaps they did, and reached different conclusions… Anyway, what I think was really well done is the design of the various weapons. There is a true difference between blaster, pyrocinator (flame thrower), bombs, doom bombs (10 little critters that bite your foes), vacuum gun, and all the other gadgets. Switching weapons is a required part of your tactics, each situation requiring a specific weapon for optimal performance.

Popular stuff I didn’t like: Grand Theft Auto 3 (GTA3), Agressive Inline (I hate it when blood spurts all over the place when I fall),


Bought a gamecube 2003-05-08 with Metroid Prime, Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (special edition including Ocarina of Time), and Star Fox Adventures.

  • Pikmin and Pikmin 2 – the two only games I played for extended periods of time on the Gamecube.
  • Ocarina of Time (part of the Zelda Windwaker special edition) – you have to fight and think your way through endless dungeons, room after room. I don’t like this.
  • Metroid Prime – you have to fight your way through endless dungeons, room after room. On the plus side, graphics and atmosphere are fabulous, truly feels like taking part in the exploration of some Alien world. On the negative side, the dungeons are huge, and you have to find the rooms where you can save. The dungeons have secrets you notice but cannot unlock early in the game, so you will have to go back and revisit old dungeons. Just a simple example, some doors require rockets, and you only find rockets later in the game. So you have to traverse the levels again and again. Frustrating after a while.
  • Zelda Windwaker – I’m pretty sure I don’t like the Zelda design by now: Comparing Ocarina of Time and Windwaker I see what the “common theme” is – the shield, the sword, the hearts, the grass cutting, the lock-on…
  • Star Fox Adventures was interesting at first, but got boring after a while.

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Comments on 2006-04-17 Games

Hoi Alex, are you into World of Warcraft now ;-) (thats what evi’s mom is playing…)?

2ni 2006-04-17 20:36 UTC

You’ve brought back some great memories with those games, Alex. I still pull out Soulblade and Tekken 3 for a play occasionally. One of these days I’m going to grab a Dreamcast, while they’re still around. I’d love to tinker with Linux on one……..

greywulf 2006-04-17 21:40 UTC

Before I can start playing !WoW I’ll have to buy a better computer. I don’t think this is going to happen any time soon. I’m just in wistful thinking mode…

These days I play Soul Calibur 3 on my Playstation 2. That game rocks so incredibly, it’s amazing. Me and my best friend – we can spend five or six hours in front of the TV with that game.

AlexSchroeder 2006-04-17 23:16 UTC

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2006-04-17 Software

I’m using a BitTorrent client (Transmission) to download a very large file. When I had my upload bandwidth restricted to 20KB/s, my upload rate was around 12KB/s and my download rate was somewhere around 3KB/s. Using the Internet had gotten really slow, too, which was astonishing given my low download rate. I figured that maybe my upload rate was the problem: My commands and requests had to wait for a window to get sent out. So I limited my upload bandwidth to 10KB/s, and suddenly my browsing and SSH experience improved dramatically. Weirdly enough, my torrent download rate also improved and now hovers around 8KB/s. I guess the full upload pipe was restricting some necessary torrent requests, too. Weird.

On IRC, I got an explanation to match:

You don’t say which type or what speed your ‘Net connection is, but what you describe is typical of ADSL circuits in particular, though occasionally applicable to cable circuits as well. When your upload speed approaches saturation of your upload bandwidth maximum, your downloads will slow to a crawl. This is because there is no ‘room’ left for your download ‘ACK’ signals to be uploaded back to the server(s) from which you are downloading. Typically, you must reserve about 3-4KB/s of your upload bandwidth to handle your ACKs from downloads. – Lacrocivious on #transmission

I now limited my upload rate to 9KB/s and am doing fine with download rates up to 17KB/s… :)

I limited the upload rate to 8KB/s and saw download rates soar up to 20KB/s. I feel like a leech.

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Comments on 2006-04-17 Software

One thing that seems to help a lot is controlling the maximum number of open connections. I usually only allow 10 connections per downloaded item (--max_connections 10 as a commandline option). Also, if you use the shorewall firewall, you can lower the priority that bittorrent packets are processed, so that web browsing and SSH are slightly more snappy.

MichaelOlson 2006-04-18 00:38 UTC

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2006-04-17 USA

HumanRightsWatch says that Rumsfeld could be “potentially liable” for torture in Gunatánamo in late 2002 and early 2003.

On December 2, 2002, as the Pentagon has previously acknowledged, Rumsfeld approved 16 interrogation techniques for al-Qahtani and other detainees, including the use of forced nudity, stress positions and “using detainees’ individual phobias (such as fear of dogs).” [1]

That reminds me of the scene in 1984 by George Orwell were the government puts the main character’s head into a cage full of rats so that he finally breaks down and denounces his love.

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2006-04-18 Movies

We went to see Habana Blues (2005), yesterday. It was ok, but I don’t recommend it. Maybe because I don’t play a musical instrument and never had the ambition to get a record contract…


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Today I was surprised by a security guard while sitting on the loo. I had forgotten to lock the door, thinking myself to be the last one in the office.

Comments on 2006-04-19


V 2006-04-20 03:49 UTC

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2006-04-19 Copyright

JanneJalkanen links to a blog called Recording Industry vs The People.

Here’s what the intro to the blog says:

We are lawyers in New York City. […] Through the Electronic Frontier Foundation we and our firm have undertaken to represent people in our area who have been sued by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for having computers whose internet accounts were used to open up peer-to-peer file sharing accounts. We find these cases to be oppressive and unfair, as large multinational corporations gang up, in a cartel, to misuse the federal courts and sue ordinary working people for thousands of dollars. We have set up this blog in order to collect evidence and input about these oppressive lawsuits. We hope you will find it useful.

The passages Janne cites are scary material. [1]

It sounds so improbably, it seems like a hoax.

Here’s some material I found interesting myself:

In response, the RIAA made its most shocking and outlandish arguments to date, claiming that merely having a ‘shared files folder’ on one’s computer, and thereby ‘making files available for distribution’, is in and of itself a “distribution” and a copyright infringement. I.e., even if the recordings were legally obtained, and even if no illegal copies were ever made of them, the defendant is still guilty of copyright infringement. [2]

Anyway, one more reason to support the EFF, even if you don’t live in the USA.

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2006-04-19 Israel

TelePolis hat einen interessanten Artikel zu den inneren Problemen der Hamas. [1]

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2006-04-19 Turkey

ayrnieu posted a link on the EmacsChannel about Armenians and Turkey by J. Brad Hicks. [1] It’s an interesting post, starting with a spammer in the days of Usenet, posting about a genocide of millions of Turks by Armenians. Hicks then goes on to talk about a TV show he saw about the genocide of Armenians by Turks. [2] Nice post.

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2006-04-20 Iran

TelePolis writes about the growing power of the conservatives in Iran (thus breaking their election promises) and puts the nuclear threats into perspective. [1]

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2006-04-20 Oddmuse

I’d like to have something like the CSS Zen Garden for Oddmuse. I’m going to suggest that people upload their images to Flickr and use the OddmuseZenGarden.

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2006-04-22 Lugano Pictures

Parco Civico Blumenmeer Claudia hat mich für den Geburtstag für drei Tage in den Tessin entführt. Es war wunderschönes Wetter und wir hatten sehr viel Zeit und Ruhe. Wunderbar! Am ersten Tag sind wir in der Altstadt und am See herumflaniert. Ich selber war schon zwei Mal in Lugano, Claudia schon öfter. Da es nur drei Stunden von Zürich nach Lugano sind, sollten wir öfter mal herkommen. Alle zwei Stunden fährt ein direkter Zug. Die Stadtgärtner von Lugano haben sich alle Mühe gegeben.

Die Stadt ist schön, der Teil, den man zu Fuss erkunden kann, ist hingegen klein. Nach einer Weile fallen einem die immer gleichen Leute auf, die man wiedererkennt, und die immer gleichen kleinen weissen Hunde, die im Moment Mode sind, und mich an unseren kleinen Wulli in Oeiras erinnern…

Am Abend sind wir nach Paradiso zu einem Hotel mit einer Havanna Bar gelaufen. Der Spaziergang war sehr lang, und es war schon gegen Mitternacht, als wir ankamen. Trotzdem haben wir eine schöne Stunde dort verbracht. Mit Auto oder Taxi wäre es sicher angenehmer gewesen. Skurril!


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2006-04-23 Lugano Pictures

Ein paar Häuser und Restaurants dem Weg entlang Die Klippen sind fantastisch Der Campanile in Gandria Der wunderschöne See von der hundsmiserablen Strasse aus Da unten wäre der Rückweg viel toller gewesen!! Wir sind mit dem Bus bis zur Post von Castagnola gefahren, und sind dann dem sentiero dell’olivo nach Gandria gefolgt. Die Villa Heleneum mit dem Museum für aussereuropäische Kunst kannten wir schon (und das Wetter war zu schön!), so dass wir einfach nach Gandria und zurück gewandert sind.

Eigentlich dachten wir, dass es am Parkplatz in Gandria einen Bus zurück gäbe, aber da gibt es nur einmal am Tag ein Postauto von St. Moritz nach Lugano! Also sind wir – grosser Fehler! – der Strasse entlang gelaufen, auf der Suche nach der “richtigen” Haltestelle. Doch diese fanden wir erst wieder in Castagnola. Dafür haben wir ein paar super-schöne Bilder von der Strasse auf den See machen können.


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I wonder whether moving from a general image target size of 400x300 to 664x500 is a good idea.

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2006-04-24 Lugano Pictures

Wunderschöne Blütenpracht im Park der Villa Saroli Die Ruinen des alten Grand Hotel in Lugano Am letzten Tag hatten wir nur noch drei Stunden Zeit zwischen Check Out, Pasticeria, dem Park der Villa Saroli, der Banca dell’Gottardo, und dem Zug nach Hause.


Comments on 2006-04-24 Lugano Pictures

Wow, these pics turned out really well. I especially like the blossom tree.

MichaelOlson 2006-04-25 13:49 UTC

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2006-04-25 Copyright USA

More draconian over-the-top developments that might come to Europe soon enough:

Heise writes about a new bill proposed by Lamar Smith increasing the maximum fine for filesharing and other types of copyright violation to ten years. [1] As if it weren’t ridiculous enough. I can’t understand how these people get elected. My hunch is that when today’s kids grow up, they’ll dump the entire intellectual property garbage out the window, because they’ve been burnt so badly by the music industry.

At least I don’t know of a single person amongst my friends and coworkers who likes, condones, sympathizes or otherwise appreciates what the music industry is doing.

How can an industry built on fear be viable in the long run?


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2006-04-25 Israel

Gerade habe ich im Radio gehört, dass die Schweiz an ihrer Entwicklungshilfe für Palästina festhält. Anscheinend hat Al Jazira ein Interview mit Bundespräsident Moritz Leuenberger ausgesendet.

Bundespräsident Moritz Leuenberger hat in einem Interview mit dem arabischen TV-Sender Al Jazira die Nahostpolitik der EU kritisiert: Es wäre «vernünftiger» gewesen, der radikalislamischen Hamas nach ihrem Wahlsieg eine Probezeit einzuräumen.

Leuenberger bekräftigte die Haltung der Schweiz, wonach die neue palästinensische Regierung an ihren Taten gemessen werden müsse. «Es gab demokratische Wahlen. Man muss das Ergebnis akzeptieren», sagte Leuenberger.

Die EU und die USA haben ihre Finanzhilfen für die palästinensische Regierung aus Protest gegen die politischen Positionen der Hamas suspendiert. Die Schweiz hält an ihrer Entwicklungshilfe für die palästinensischen Gebiete fest. [1]

Dass man die Hamas an ihren Taten messen soll, habe ich ja schon früher gesagt. (2006-01-30 Israel)

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2006-04-25 USA Drugs

Danah Boyd writes about the medical use of Marijuana. While dealing in drugs is illegal in Switzerland, the simple possession of soft drugs like Marijuana and Hashish are 1. not punished harshly (a small fine, for example), and 2. not a priority of the police in most urban areas. The net result is that I knew a pretty large group of people my age in high school that smoked pot. I didn’t, and I didn’t like how almost all of them seemed so laid back that they seemed to be almost listless – dead boring. But the US’ WarOnDrugs is crazy in comparison. A few listless youngsters are definitely preferable to one of the largest PrisonPopulation”“s on Earth!


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2006-04-26 Germany Copyright Patents

Da bin ich ja gespannt:

Vertreter aus Politik und Industrie waren sich bei einer Veranstaltung des Bundesverbands der Deutschen Industrie (BDI) zum “Tag des geistigen Eigentums” am heutigen Mittwoch in Berlin einig, dass Urheber-, Patent- und Markenrechte in der digitalen Welt eine herausragende Rolle spielen. Der juristische Rahmen zur Erteilung der Schutzrechte sei daher effizienter zu gestalten. “Wir müssen das nötige Rechtsbewusstsein für geistiges Eigentum schaffen”, betonte Bundesjustizministerin Brigitte Zypries. Sie kündigte an, den Schutz geistigen Eigentums zum Schwerpunkt der deutschen EU-Ratspräsidentschaft im ersten Halbjahr 2007 machen zu wollen. [1]

Ich fürchte, da wird nichts Gutes auf uns zukommen. Bis jetzt ist Zypries ja im Streit um Software Patente nicht besonders positiv aufgefallen.


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2006-04-26 USA Europe

The unfortunate flow of bad ideas continues. Heise mentions a report called “Arming Big Brother” on StateWatch and talks about the growing interest in a military-securty complex that blurs the distinction between the police and the military (and between the police and the secret service). It seems that enough corps are interested in getting the European governments to spend similar amounts of money in a kind of “homeland-security” (about 1G$ per year).

This Statewatch-TNI report examines the development of the security-industrial complex in Europe and in particular the development of the EU Security Research Programme (ESRP). Spawned by the military-industrial complex, the security-industrial complex has developed as the traditional boundaries between external security (military) and internal security (security services) and law enforcement (policing) have eroded. With the global market for technologies of repression more lucrative than ever in the wake of 11 September 2001, it is on a healthy expansion course. The story of the EU Security Research Programme is one of “Big Brother” meets market fundamentalism. It was personified by the establishment in 2003 of a “Group of Personalities” (!GoP) comprised of EU officials and Europe’s biggest arms and IT companies. The !GoP’s concern was a simple one: European multinationals are losing out to their US competitors because the US government is providing them with a billion dollars a year for security research – it recommended the EU match this level of funding to ensure a “level playing field”. – from the introduction to Arming Big Brother (PDF)

Heise ends its article with the following:

Auch in den Folgegremien habe die Kommission den Vertretern der Rüstungsindustrie ohne mit der Wimper zu Zucken einen offiziellen Beratungsstatus eingeräumt. Diese könnten somit direkt in Brüssel Politik machen. Weiter beklagen die Watchdogs, dass es keinen Hinweis darauf gebe, dass die entwickelten Technologien tatsächlich Terrorismus oder Verbrechen verhindern könnten. Wichtiger wäre es, die in sozialen Problemen liegenden Wurzeln für diese Phänomene zu bekämpfen. Generell sehe sich Europa nicht nur mit Terror konfrontiert, sondern auch mit dem Klimawandel, Armut, Umweltzerstörung, Ressourcenausschöpfung und anderen Quellen für Unsicherheit. [1]


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2006-04-27 Copyright Germany

Regisseure fordern Mitsprache: “Für Werbeunterbrechungen von Spielfilmen im Fernsehen sollte auch in Deutschland die Zustimmung des jeweiligen Filmemachers notwendig sein.” Argumentiert wird hier mit dem Urheberrecht.

Eigentlich eine gute Idee, wenn sich die Rechtinhaber erst einmal selber eines auf die Nase führen, und die Idee ad absurdum führen. Nur leider habe ich den Verdacht, dass damit mittelfristig einmal mehr die Sache einfach nur komplizierter wird. Schon jetzt ist es ja faktisch fast unmöglich, sich die Rechte für eine Kompilation von Kinofilmen zu beschaffen, oder einen Film unter Verwendung anderer Filme zu machen. Das Auffinden der Rechtinhaber dauert zu lange, jeder von denen will bezahlt werden, und so weiter.

Obwohl ich also gegen Werbeunterbrechungen bin, geht dieser Vorstoss in die falsche Richtung: Ein absurdes System wird weder vernünftiger noch abgeschafft, wenn es ad absurdum geführt wird. Es bleibt einfach absurd, oder wird einfach noch absurder. Und wer sagt denn, dass die Regisseure auch dagegen sind? Vielleicht wollen sie ja auch nur Knete…

Zumindest heisst es dort: “Hier wäre es nach Ansicht der deutschen Regisseure auch im Zuschauerinteresse sinnvoll, wenn die Werbeunterbrechung nach schwedischem Vorbild nur mit Zustimmung des Regisseurs erfolgen könne. Dann habe der Regisseur zumindest die Chance, die Ausstrahlung seines Werkes mit der Werbung so zu verbinden, dass sich die dramaturgischen Brüche in vertretbaren Grenzen hielten.”

via SuShee [1]


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2006-04-27 Music Copyright Canada

The Canadian Music Creators Coalition published a press release (PDF) saying:

Suing Our Fans is Destructive and Hypocritical
Artists do not want to sue music fans. The labels have been suing our fans against artists’ will, and laws enabling these suits cannot be justified in artists’ names
Digital Locks are Risky and Counterproductive
Artists do not support using digital locks to increase the labels’ control over the distribution, use and enjoyment of music or laws that prohibit circumvention of such technological measures. Consumers should be able to transfer the music they buy to other formats under a right of fair use, without having to pay twice.
Cultural Policy Should Support Actual Canadian Artists
The vast majority of new Canadian music is not promoted by major labels, which focus mostly on foreign artists. The government should use other policy tools to support actual Canadian artists and a thriving musical and cultural scene.

Thank you! I wish more such initiatives appeared in other countries.

Via Heise [1]


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2006-04-28 Copyright

EDRI reports that the EU report on the economic and technical evolution of scientific publishing in Europe, published on 31 March 2006, recommends public access to scientific research funded by the European taxpayer.

Background: Wikipedia:OpenAccess, DeutscheWikipedia:OpenAccess.

In the same EdriGram, they write about the debate on the revision of Swiss copyright law:

A crucial point is the legal status conferred to technical copyright protection measures, such as Digital Rights Management (DRM), and ensuring prohibition of their circumvention. However, in contrast with copyright laws passed in other countries, circumvention would be allowed for uses authorized in general by copyright law (personal copies, fair use). File downloading will remain legal, because users cannot be required to decide whether a file is offered legally or not. The proposed law clarifies the legal status of Internet Providers, stating that they can’t be held responsible for their customers’ copyright infringements.

That particular piece of news was contributed by somebody I know from my time at WilhelmTux: DanielBoos, Member of SIUG and DigitaleAllmend – a very nice guy indeed!

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2006-04-29 Copyright

A lawsuit talking about two bands who signed contracts with Sony before music was being sold on the net, giving them 4½ cents per song sold. When music is sold online, it seems that bands get more money:

The suit, filed at a federal court in Manhattan, claims Sony has failed to live up to a contract requiring that it pay its musicians half of the net revenue it receives from licensing songs to download services like iTunes and Napster. [1]

via GreyWulf [2]

If bands truly got half of the net revenue, I think the deal would not be all that bad for bands. But of course bands get cheated of their money most of the time anyway. Reminds me of the Courtney Love link I had on 2003-05-07 Music: Courtney Love does the math.

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2006-04-29 Movies

Claudia went to see Road to Guantánamo (2006) with her Pakistani friend. I didn’t go, because I found the trailer too heavy for my tastes. I was afraid that it would make me too angry. Claudia’s friend had a hard time watching the movie. Check out the comments on IMDB.


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2006-04-29 Oddmuse Emacs Software

I’ve started using OrgMode to comment on the ten Hungarian patches to Oddmuse I got many weeks ago (more than 3k lines of patches). I don’t think I will be applying them, but I’ve only looked at four files out of ten.

Org Mode looks very interesting. I can’t believe I had missed such a cool piece of software.


Comments on 2006-04-29 Oddmuse Emacs Software

3k of patches? to What kind of updates were they?

I have tried various Emacs based task list packages (planner, todo, etc.). They all sucked. Well, except org-mode. It is the last one I have used that I have not thrown away in disgust. Now that I write this comment I wonder why I have stopped using it! Probably because I think file based todo lists are obsolete. The task list needs to be on the web so it can updated everywhere (work, home, client site, etc.).

By the way, where is the todo list for oddmuse. I vaguely remember seeing it on a wiki page.

Vagn Johansen 2006-04-30 11:33 UTC

The stuff I have in mind is Oddmuse:Plans.

The patches are available here, for the time being:

AlexSchroeder 2006-04-30 13:45 UTC

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2006-04-29 Patents

JanneJalkanen writes about an open source software developer: He got sent “an invoice for $203,000, claiming that the 7000 or so users of his software resulted in damages of at least $29/each. It turns out that the patent in question was applied for after Ben Jacobsen published the source code of his program on the internet, and therefore his program qualifies as prior art. Unfortunately, because of the way these patent disputes work, it may be very costly for Ben Jacobsen to defend his right to keep working on his own software.” [1]

WTF? This shows that even if everything goes according to plan, it’s fucked up, because the entire system is fucked up anyway.

Janne got his stuff from RightToCreate [2] (“Right to Create is dedicated to exposing the abuses of patent and copyright systems, demonstrating that limiting the power of the Intellectual Property Regime will result in a better world for inventors, industry, individuals, and society as a whole.” – Sounds good to me!)

There’s an update to the original post, with some words by the software developer’s attorney. [3]

And another RightToCreate update [4] pointing to a LWN article with a summary of the case by Groklaw founder Pamela Jones [5].

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2006-04-29 Software DVD

I’m copying a DVD for Claudia again, and it’s definitely tricky to read old DVDs. They all seem to have data errors. Luckily I remembered previous experiences and used ddrescue as suggested on 2005-11-02 Software DVD.

I also copied a double-layer DVD for a friend. I ripped the DVD into a 6GB image, and discovered that a. I don’t have double-layer DVD media, and b. even if I had, I’m not sure my software could handle it. So instead, I decided I wanted to recode it.

I tried to copy the DVD image onto my external harddisk but discovered that the stupid disk is formatted with a VFAT filesystem, limiting file size to 2GB. I find it hard to believe – and hard to take. :(

Next, I mounted the image as a loopback, using the following command:

mount -t iso9660 -o ro,loop=/dev/loop0 /mnt/media/foo.iso /mnt/hd

(Hah, found it on my own website, too: 2005-05-05 Software. I should collect all this stuff on one page and just update that.)

Then I copied the directory structure (each file was smaller than 2GB) onto the external harddisk, and connected it to my iBook.

Then I tried HandBrake, first. It produced an MP4 movie file, but unfortunately it seemed that eventhough I had asked for subtitles, none were included. Grrr. It also estimated about four or five hours of number crunching.

Next, I started DVD2one and produced a compressed copy of the DVD directory tree on my external harddrive. The totally amazing part was that it only took a few minutes, maybe twenty minutes in all, to shrink the DVD!

Unfortunately, this marvelous piece of software is not FreeSoftware. :'( – it’s shareware: You get a 30 days trial period, and it costs about 30€. Why is there no free alternative?

Since my iBook doesn’t come with a DVD burner, I had to move the external drive back to the SlackWare box and use k3b to burn the new DVD onto a single-layer DVD. It seemed to work. :)

I was totally amazed by the movie HOWTO Backup Your DVD Movies by Mark Pilgrim, by the way, explaining how to use DVD2one. What a cool way of explaining things!

Interesting how he links to the artist he uses for the background music (Manolo Camp). The music is on opsound:

Opsound is a gift economy in action, an experiment in applying the model of free software to music. Musicians and sound artists are invited to add their work to the Opsound pool using a copyleft license developed by Creative Commons. Listeners are invited to download, share, remix, and reimagine. Drop by the Opshop for copyleft releases on the Opsound record label (selling free music since 2004). – About Opsound: Free Love, Free Music.



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2006-04-30 Books

I have ~practically~ finished The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward R. Tufte. The book is very beautiful and inspiring – I have the urge to somehow take a wiki and produce charts and maps, ingenious, revealing, multivariate, multilevel. But how? And what? I’ve got to think of something.

Tufte derives some very simple rules from the good and bad examples he shows throughout the book, but obviously he cannot tell his readers how to be creative, and how to be good. All he can tell is how to reason about graphs and maps and time series and all those other visual displays of quantitative information. And that he does, beautifully.

Via Google:Visual+Display+Quantitative+Information+by+Edward+Tufte I found short reviews of Tufte's books on the website of SusanStepney. Somehow the style seemed familiar. And indeed, just a few weeks ago I linked to her site, as I talked about CharlieStross on 2006-04-07 Books. Maybe I should go and explore her website! (Not her official bio at the university, of course… ;))

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