Thursday, December 30, 2010

Moshe Zimmermann - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Moshe Zimmermann - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Being interview on the radio (Deutschlandfunk) Zimmermann (an Israeli historian and publicist) just made a statement on his former student Moshe Katsav, Israel's former, 8th president, who was convicted of rape today.

Monday, December 27, 2010

writing procmail rules querying Return-Path

I prefer writing procmail rules querying Return-Path instead of From.

The Return-Path header field gets faked rather rarely as opposed to the From header field, it's far more often machine generated, that's why I regard it more reliable.

Today I found myself in a situation, where the Return-Path header field looked differently after my usual fetchmail+procmail execution chain. I didn't recognize that from the beginning. I tried hard for a couple of hours matching the "original" Return-Path, but I did not succeed. Only after I recognized the difference and turned my interest towards the "new" Return-Path, I immediately succeeded creating another nice procmail rule for that message resp. for messages from that sender.

I still cannot explain myself, why and how Return-Path gets changed, but now I know and respect it does.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"aligning text in programs is ASCII art"

I love indenting and aligning, I love structuring, be it in tables or in data structures.
The human mind enjoys and rewards structure.
Some people don't understand that and punish others' credo with arrogant disrespect.

I currently associate this kind of intolerant mentality with the Python community. I hope some Python disciples will prove me wrong sooner or later.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

book: Programming Groovy

The Pragmatic Bookshelf | Programming Groovy

From the wikipedia article on Groovy:
Most Java code is also syntactically valid Groovy. […]

In July 2009, Strachan wrote on his blog that "I can honestly say if someone had shown me the Programming in Scala book by Martin Odersky, Lex Spoon & Bill Venners back in 2003 I'd probably have never created Groovy."[1] Strachan left the project silently long before the Groovy 1.0 release in 2007.
Maybe I better focus on Scala than on Groovy.

Update 2011-07-01:
Purchased it as a used book through Amazon.de.

The Pragmatic Bookshelf | Programming Scala

The Pragmatic Bookshelf | Programming Scala

book: Programming Clojure

The Pragmatic Bookshelf | Programming Clojure

Lisp on the JVM – maybe a nice idea.

Update 2011-08-07
Found a Clojure User Group Berlin.
Order the book through Amazon as used book, but with Amazon Prime service.

Friday, December 10, 2010

CAM::PDF - PDF manipulation library by "Clotho Advanced Media"

CAM::PDF - search.cpan.org

I am currently into PDF "reading", and this software looks rather promising.

There are also a couple of nice command line utilities in the TAR ball's bin/ subdirectory.
  • appendpdf.pl
  • asciify
  • changepagestring.pl
  • changepdfstring.pl
  • changerefkeys.pl
  • crunchjpg_tmpl.pdf
  • crunchjpgs.pl
  • deillustrate.pl
  • deletepdfpage.pl
  • extractallimages.pl
  • extractjpgs.pl
  • fillpdffields.pl
  • getpdffontobject.pl
  • getpdfpage.pl
  • getpdfpageobject.pl
  • getpdftext.pl
  • listfonts.pl
  • listimages.pl
  • listpdffields.pl – sic!!! – I adapted that a little, now it shows page num. (with a little extra help from Chris Dolan) and the position for each field
  • pdfinfo.pl
  • readpdf.pl – shows you the PDF data structure as perl data dump
  • renderpdf.pl
  • replacepdfobj.pl
  • revertpdf.pl
  • rewritepdf.pl
  • setpdfbackground.pl
  • setpdfpage.pl
  • stamppdf.pl
  • uninlinepdfimages.pl
Of course, they all use /usr/bin/perl and not /usr/local/perlbrew/bin/perl, and I am currently still into perlbrew., so how would I replace all these occurrences?
That reminded me of that fixin utility from the very old days, which updates the #! ("shebang") line appropriately.

form fields in PDF – how to retrieve their details?

This command line shows you a few details:

$ pdftk … dump_data_fields

Not enough details for me.

What about CAM::PDF?
It comes with a couple of nice sample utilities (the bin/ subdirectory), one of them is called listpdffields.pl . It also does not show me enough details, but I think I will enhance that one.

Update / 2010-12-11:
Yes, CAM::PDF works very well for me. I wrote another article on that.

App::perlbrew : the man page and "perlbrew list"

The man page makes you think, there is a "perlbrew list", and older versions didn't have it. Older versions had a "perlbrew installed" instead. Quite a good reason to upgrade you perlbrew.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

editing JRXML in emacs using nxml-mode

Just created an RELAG-NG ("compact") grammar for editing JRXML files.

I used trang for that, and the "input module" was a sample JRXML file. Yes, that means: occasionally some JRXML file will have tags or attributes, that my jasperreport.rnc does not know yet. But then re-running trang on an additional sample file is not really a big job.

I really love editing XML.

I re-ordered and "grouped" the XML pieces for the elements in my sample reports. That helps to clean up some things, that got a little messy over the time. In the end you recognize, how much duplicate code you have.

You may want to fight the redundancy problems through JRXML subreports.
I actually made my JRXML a "here document" for a shell script. A couple of hours later I knew, that a perl script is the better approach. Another couple of hours later there were plenty little parameterized "here documents". I have solved my redundancy problem here through "looping over lists of configurations".

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

building pdftk-1.44 on opensuse-11.3

I just succeeded building the current pdftk using Makefile.Redhat with no modifications at all.

Precondition: have the GCJ RPM-s and the fastjar RPM installed.

I tried hard to ignore all the warnings regarding the Java source code.

Friday, November 26, 2010

an alert on my FRITZ!Box 7390: "internet: Bonk Attack detected"


I found this message today in my telnet session on my FRITZ!Box:
Nov 26 10:16:25 dsld[2178]: internet: Bonk Attack detected (1)
I think, this I saw this already a couple of months ago, and I think, the box rebooted then, but it didn't do that no.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

entering XML or literal HTML in the Blogger article editor is a PITA

At least the "<" you have to enter as "&lt;", which makes it rather unreadable. If you forget this, and enter tags, as you want to see them displayed, they simply get removed. Bad and sad!

DocBook: article.info.date … – why does date not get displayed?

Good question, isn't it? No, it's not a good question, I assume. Using <date> here is apparently just not the right way (I assume). Why?

I have used this combination for quite some time now.
I have no idea, whether I ever convinced myself, whether <date></date> gets displayed.
Just today I wondered, why it doesn't get displayed.
I went through the pain of searching the DocBook XSL documentation, and XSL files, and … .

This is the file, that actually showed me, how I should do it and that I should use <pubdate>…</pubdate> instead:
…/html/titlepage.templates.xml
Whatever it makes you feel like, if you look at this file (it really shows me, how little I understand of all this, so I feel desperate), it clearly lists the tags, that are taken into account for constructing the article info, and it doesn't include <date/> but <pubdate/>, so simply go and use <pubdate> in your DocBook article and stop crying!

I am really not sure, it was always like that, but that's the way it is now.

So what do we learn from this lesson?

Editing a DocBook file in emacs' nxml-mode does present you the entire list of syntactically acceptable tags. But that doesn't mean all these tags are being made use of by the stylesheets.

So either you always construct your DocBook files from the nice samples in TDG, or you keep verifying your files against the template files like the one quoted above, or …

my XML catalog had a prefer="public" attribute

How did it slip in there? I can't really say. All I can say is, that it got included with an entry for Apples's PropertyList DTD. But how did I know then, there is such an attribute with such a value?

I removed it now, actually I put it inside an XML comment together with some words explaining my confusion. In case this action now will break any processing in the future, I hope, I will find this blog article then.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ne-Yo feat. Cassandra Steen - Never Knew I Needed

Cassandra Steen - You Never Walk Alone

Apache sounds the attack against Oracle's Java policy - The H Open Source: News and Features

Apache sounds the attack against Oracle's Java policy - The H Open Source: News and Features

Apple releases Mac OS X 10.6.5 update - The H Security: News and Features

Apple releases Mac OS X 10.6.5 update - The H Security: News and Features

PGP warns of Mac OS X 10.6.5 update - The H Security: News and Features

PGP warns of Mac OS X 10.6.5 update - The H Security: News and Features

Oracle vs. Google: Google accuses Oracle of manipulating the evidence - The H Open Source: News and Features

Oracle vs. Google: Google accuses Oracle of manipulating the evidence - The H Open Source: News and Features

Oracle and Apple to join forces in OpenJDK project for Mac OS X - The H Open Source: News and Features

Oracle and Apple to join forces in OpenJDK project for Mac OS X - The H Open Source: News and Features

Linkin Park - "Waiting For The End" with lyrics

observing the procmail LOGFILE

I am a fervent user of procmail, have been such a user, since I found out, that sieve is far less available in any such mail environment as mine at my provider's site.

I really don't know of a lot of others, that also use procmail. I think, Axel uses procmail as well, I worked with Axel like almost 15 years ago at ERNO. I only found out, that "Sven G." (a rather prominent open source person living in Berlin) also uses procmail, when we had a pasta evening together in my kitchen last Friday.

Observing procmail LOGFILE is my way of finding out about new e-mail messages, that try to reach me. I think, usually people have a look at their single mailbox (in case they are POP3 users) or at their 5 IMAP folders (just guessing that "5"). I have like 50 IMAP folders, and because I quite often toggle the "READ flag" of messages back to "unread", observing procmail LOGFILE and also keeping separate track of important messages in my diary is my way of attempting not to lose track.

Now why did I start this article today? Sven G. is a "procmail LOGFILE observer", too. And by "observer" I mean using "tail -f" on that logfile – IYKWIM. I just remembered that and Sven G., when I restarted that command line yet once again, and that raised a smile in my heart, that I enjoyed.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

why I do not donate to wikimedia

I do not donate to wikimedia because of that awkward "wikipediacracy" game. Too many trolls showing how important they are playing police. This is far away from paradise. Get the trolls out of their control positions, and I start donating, because I still appreciate the wikipedias a lot – despite the trolls. I don't mind, if it looks a little chaotic.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mac OS X 10.6.4 (Snow Leopard): the Finder hangs again

I tried to make LibreOffice the default application for a file on a Samba network folder, and Finder hangs – not LibreOffice. I am now going to kill Finder, and I assume during the remainder of the day I also have to restart the entire OS again, which implies restarting almost all applications with all their current state. Annoying stuff! But it happens with other contemporary operating systems just as well. But ordinary OS X users keep telling the rest of the world, that you never experience trouble with OS X, which just isn't true.

The Finder does not get relaunched, and when you try to launch it yourself, this is what they show you:
The application Finder.app can't be opened.
-10180
[OK]
You can't really do a lot without a running Finder, so now I am going to restart OS X

Even the rebooting procedure stalled at "continuing", and I had to do a cold reboot. This is, how bad it really can get with OS X.

"Open Office" -> "Libre Office"

"The Document Foundation"

I decided to go for the OpenOffice fork "LibreOffice". I just hope, the names behind that organisation really mean, this is a steady thing.

I did not want to go through this entire customisation process with LibreOffice on my Mac (and so forth) again, so I copied OpenOffice.org/3 to (a fresh) LibreOffice/3. I am of course not sure, this is a good thing, but it seems to save time.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Skype 5.0.0.6378 on Mac OS X – how do I get rid of the photos?

Skype-5 on the Mac looks quite nice, but I don't like the contact photo, that I cannot suppress / hide. Am I just to dull to find the right switch or is there no such switch? Looks like they will make the switch available with the next release, that's what they promised at least for the Windows version.

Update:
Downgraded to 2.8.

Rooibos (tea) - en.Wikipedia.org

Rooibos - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The plant is used to make a herbal tea called rooibos tea, bush tea (esp. Southern Africa), redbush tea (esp. UK), South African red tea, or red tea. The product has been popular in Southern Africa for generations and is now consumed in many countries. It is sometimes spelled rooibosch in accordance with the old Dutch etymology, but this does not change the pronunciation.
I was never attracted by rooibos tea so far, I always found it sort of strange, but somebody deployed 2 bags in my kitchen, and I am now going to risk my life and I will try one cup of each. If I will survive this, I will return to here.

Update:
Alright, I survived the Earl Grey version of rooibos tea.

Update:
Prepared a cup of "chocolate / almond / truffle" rooibos tea. I assume, this will be my only cup of this tea. I can't stand the idea of this kind of tea. I really don't like this flavour.

Friday, November 5, 2010

TEI = Text Encoding Initiative - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Text Encoding Initiative - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

… TEI is now the de facto standard for the encoding of electronic texts in the humanities academic community …

… The Guidelines define some 500 different textual components and concepts, which can be expressed using a markup language and defined by a DTD or XML schema. Early versions of the Guidelines used SGML as a means of expression; more recently XML has been adopted. …

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Contacts Manager within my Google Apps domain and contact picture

It looses its pictures, it doesn't accept new ones, it doesn't show an error message, it's weird and somehow broken. When I searched for this problem picture recently, I wasn't able to find other descriptions than mine.

When I "Add a picture", it let's me proceed, but finally after I want to "Apply Changes", nothing happens. After a while I decide to press "Back to upload".
Today they actually started telling me "Error while saving your picture." But I have no idea, what that refers to, and "the web" does not offer a solution here either.

This does not happen with my standard Google account, but only with my Google Apps domain account.

created my personal calendar 2011

Ran a couple of home-brewed perl scripts.

After I ran them last year I started coding my $HOME/diary in UTF-8, and obviously my scripts don't deal too well with UTF-8, they were written for Latin-1, but luckily enough (and that's the major advantage of UTF-8!) they don't break badly enough. "Of course" there is no time right now to teach these scripts, how to properly deal with UTF-8, but a few changes around him helps well enough.

I keep delaying this task every year, but it has to be done. I really fear every year, processing this task takes many, many hours. It only took like 2 hours this year / today.

Of course it's my fault, my scripts don't deal well with UTF-8. I am rather sure, Perl / Perl5 can deal with it just as well as other modern programming languages. So put it on my laziness!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

apress.com: The Essential Guide to HTML5: Using Games to learn HTML5 and JavaScript

The Essential Guide to HTML5: Using Games to learn HTML5 and JavaScript | Book Details

Distance Measurement in Google Maps / Labs

Distance Measurement in Google Maps Labs

Book+eBook: "Joomla! Social Networking with JomSocial" | Packt Publishing

Joomla! Social Networking with JomSocial Book & eBook | Packt Publishing Technical & IT Book Store

Book+eBook: "Building job sites with Joomla!" | Packt Publishing

Building job sites with Joomla! Book & eBook | Packt Publishing Technical & IT Book Store

WordPress - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

WordPress - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An Open, Webby, Book-Publishing Platform - O'Reilly Radar

An Open, Webby, Book-Publishing Platform - O'Reilly Radar

WordPress as Book Publishing Platform

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Web crawler - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Web crawler - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Web scraping - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Web scraping - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

screen-scraper.com

screen-scraper.com

Google group scrubyt is gone

Once in a while I am curious to see, what goes on in the scrubyt are.
I have a few Atom and RSS feed URLs stored in my feed reader (Firefox Sage), but I don't reach them any more. The group just does not exist any more:
Cannot find scrubyt
The group named scrubyt has been removed because it violated Google's Terms Of Service.
I assume, it got spammed to much, the moderators didn't care, and finally the resp. Google Groups surveillance instance had to go that step.

I still wonder, what the future of scrubyt is. Visit this previous link, even if only for the list of competing software (ruby only, I assume).

hpricot | RubyGems.org | a swift, liberal HTML parser with a fantastic library

hpricot | RubyGems.org | your community gem host

Nokogiri – an HTML, XML, SAX, & Reader parser with the ability to search documents via XPath or CSS3 selectors… and much more

Nokogiri

No Javascript support.

web scraping afternoon

This wasn't meant to be yet another web scraping afternoon.

This afternoon started with me trying to recover a little from a hard time.
I had two probation days for a web-site testing job with Selenium, I am in the middle of a couple of recruitment processes, and I don't want to tell you about the real trouble.


  • I got intrigued to search oreilly.com for literature on Selenium and found a "Short Cut" document.
  • I found something.
  • I had a few looks over the chapter on "twill".
  • Before I really dived into the chapter on Selenium, I summed up, what I really liked and disliked about Selenium.
  • Of course, being able to use XPath is great.
  • With Selenium you somehow aren't aware at all, that there is Javascript being made use of on a web-site, but you just leave this to the browser engine, initially to Firefox and to the Selenium IDE.
  • I actually hate it, if your HTTP scripting depends on desktop computers running a browser and some remote control software to connect your server, where you "HTTP scripts" actually run, and the web browser(s), that you make use of.
  • I did a little superficial research on: perl/ruby + mechanize + xpath.
  • Yes, there is still scrubyt around, but isn't  that vaporware now itself?
  • Found perl's WWW::Scraper::TidyXML - "TidyXML and XPath support for Scraper". Not bad. But then it's from around 2003, and it seems to be vaporware. My e-mail to the author could not get delivered ("over quota"), so I guess, it's seriously no longer maintained.
  • WWW::Mechanize::Firefox seems to be nice, have a look at WWW::Mechanize::Firefox::Cookbook!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Scrappy: All Powerful Web Harvester, Spider, Scraper fully automated - search.cpan.org

Scrappy - search.cpan.org

EDI for Ruby (edi4r)

EDI for Ruby (edi4r)

Actually they refer to EDIFACT here.

You can use this software to output JSON, which you can process in any other software than.

WWW::Mechanize::Firefox - search.cpan.org

WWW::Mechanize::Firefox - search.cpan.org

Support for Javascript and XPath.

What about recording resp. capturing such a script?

perl, cpan: WWW::Scripter

WWW::Scripter - search.cpan.org

From the POD there:
DESCRIPTION 
This is a subclass of WWW::Mechanize that uses the W3C DOM and provides support for scripting.
No actual scripting engines are provided with WWW::Scripter, but are available as separate plugins. (See also the "SEE ALSO" section below.)

So it supports DOM, but no XPath expression yet.
And there is Javascript support through plugins.

An Introduction to Testing Web Applications with twill and Selenium - O'Reilly Media

An Introduction to Testing Web Applications with twill and Selenium - O'Reilly Media

To cheap not to own it – I thought a little, now I am reading it.

HSDD = hypoactive sexual desire disorder

A link to the abstract of the conference article / press release.

From that abstract:
CONCLUSION: Cerebral activation patterns in women with HSDD differs from those in women with normal sexual function and may reflect differences in how they interpret sexual stimuli.
In other words: Women with low libidos ‘have different brains’.

Have a good laugh!!!

Here is a lengthy discussion of the "miserable" approach in that article.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Selenium+XPather: e.g. verifyTextPresent vs. verifyElementPresent

Selenium usually records string clicks and tests instead of true native language independent XPath expressions. But you can always find the right XPath expression yourself (resp. with the help of XPather, a Firefox extension), and make use of it in your selenium code.

Caveat: the XPath expression, that XPather tells you, needs yet another '/' in the beginning to be useful in your Selenium code.

Yes, these XPath expressions are lengthy, and you may think they are overspecifying your location in question, but then: when will that lengthy XPath expression ever fail? If your HTML programmer changes his code. And that's exactly, what you should insist of being informed of in the first place. Track your HTML programmer! If you don't, he will screw you w/o any mercy. You don't want to screw him, but you need to know the consequences of what he is doing. Actually not in every detail, but more details are better than no details at all.

We replaced verifyTextPresent with verifyElementPresent, and it worked "out of the box". We gained native language independence immediately.

Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps (2010)

Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps (2010)

My Wednesday (2010-10-27) night movie.

Very nice. Good entertainment.

Now I know, how to pronounce the surname "Schwartz" in English. That's one of the main characters in that movie.

Thanks to my movie night sponsor EN!!!!

Selenium: strftime, sprintf

I would like to see a strftime or an sprintf in Selenium.

Javascript has a printf, but only for files, not for strings.
(Maybe there is a way to regards strings as files, but my Javascript competence is not good enough for that.)

I found Javascript code, that implements sprintf.

(I only introduced "Selenium" in the title, because the Tweet created from a title w/o it looks stupid.)

misc. Selenium links


Selenium Training - The Automated Tester:

Un-enumerable thanks to DS, who provided me with these links above and much more!!!

Here are a few more links, that I found helpful:

Monday, October 25, 2010

Exodus 34:30 Moses' face was so radiant, that they couldn't bear it

29: When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD.
30: When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.

In German from Martin Buber's translation:
Es geschah,
als Mosche vom Berge Ssinai herabstieg
die zwei Tafeln der Vergegenwärtigung in Mosches Hand,
als er vom Berg herabstieg
– Mosche wußte aber nicht, daß von seinem Reden mit ihm die Haut seines Antlitzes strahlte –,
sah Aharon und alle Söhne Jissraels Mosche an:
da, die Haut seines Antlitzes strahlte,
und sie fürchteten sich, zu ihm zu treten.

Saturday Night Fever (1977)

Saturday Night Fever (1977)

Where were you, when they showed this movie? What was your life like?

yet another posting of mine on the FRITZ!Boxes

Somebody asked me a few questions regarding the FRITZ!Boxes, and I think, it makes sense to answer them here on this blog.

No, I haven't been digging into the FRITZ!Boxes "at levels well below the standard web UI".

There is no SSH server, that comes with the FRITZ!Boxes.There are private web-sites, where you can find a ready-made dropbear SSH server. I got mine that way. And a gkrellmd as well.

There should be a way, to create yourself a development system targeted towards the "busybox" on your particular FRITZ!Box, but there are various slightly different processors being employed. I wasn't successful there, when I tried. There is ip-phone-forum.de, where the FRITZ!Boxes get discussed a lot, but the preferred language there is German, although they would most certainly try to answer question, that people ask in English.But the threads are mostly in German. Be aware, that the main community for the FRITZ!Boxes is located in Germany and I guess also in Austria and in Switzlerland. You may also find a HOWTO, that explains how to set up a development environment.
But actually ... - see above!

The "international" 7390 "speaks" English, but I don't think, there a lot on frequent firmware updates for it. They only provide frequent firmware updates for their resp. battleship, and that is "certainly" not the *international* version of the 7390 but the "German" version -- but how do I actually know? I don't own an international 7390, I only brought one to Martinique and saw it working for like 2 weeks.

I assume the firewall on the FRITZ!Boxes is homegrown.

What tools and languages are available?
Well, basically they use the "busybox" software and what is built into that.
Nowadays there is also a "lua" interpreter provided. AVM seem to use that for CGI purposes.
perl etc. are regarded far to resource hungry.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Road (2009)

The Road (2009)

Post-apocalyptic …

It made me cry, it almost made me throw up. It's definitely not going to cheer you up.

This was my Saturday night movie.

I dislike Facebook apps pulling list of friends

I never let then do that, and I hope you (as my Facebook friend) don't either – if I notice you let them throw  their propaganda at me, I will have to remove you as my Facebook friend.
Why isn't there a Facebook flag to generally opt out of that kind of thing? I guess that's against there business model. How bad.

"Fear, uncertainty and doubt" - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fear, uncertainty and doubt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Embrace, extend and extinguish" - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Embrace, extend and extinguish - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Apple: iChat vs. FaceTime (XMPP?)

In his recent keynote Steve Jobs announce FaceTime for OS X as something new. But didn't we all wonder, why they didn't just extend iChat to allow us to talk to somebody using FaceTime on the iPad or iPhone? I would rather prefer that.

Actually I would like to know, whether FaceTime and iChat are XMPP base or whether Apple prefers to invent proprietary protocols. Even “embrace and extend” would be better than that. Hmm, I don't really mean “embrace, extend and extinguish”, but that's what “embrace and extend” sadly redirects to on Wikipedia. I mean: does the world really need yet another messaging standard? There is SIP around, and it should actually get replaced by XMPP, but that's not really going to happen for the next 15 years, I assume. Google and Facebook employ XMPP for Google Talk resp. the Facebook chatting facility, and I like that.

Friday, October 22, 2010

"a thorn in the flesh", painful, sharp thorns

Ezekiel 28:24 "… painful briers and sharp thorns …"

This got referred to in 2 Cor. 12:7.

Rejoice with those who rejoice! Weep with those who weep!

Romans 12:15 - Wikisource

“Weep with those who weep!” – I came across this sentence, and this immediately reminded me of somebody rather important to me, who cries a lot these days. I rather would, but …

I like CPAN::Forum

Discuss any issue related to any CPAN module or to Perl in general - CPAN::Forum

Linus Torvalds awarded 2010 C&C Prize - The H Open Source: News and Features

Linus Torvalds awarded 2010 C&C Prize - The H Open Source: News and Features

my sendmail postfix zigzag

Pls read this article for more information!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

the coming App Store for Mac OS X: the next Apple jail?

First it sounds like the App Store will help the users to have a single point, where to find and update apps for OS X. But then: look what it means on iOS, i.e. the iPhone and the iPad: it means: apps will only find their way to your device through Apple's "placet", and finally through the App Store, and Apple will always earn money through 3rd parties' contributions.

Deutsches Historisches Museum Berlin: Exhibition: Hitler and the Germans. Nation and Crime

Deutsches Historisches Museum Berlin - Hitler and the Germans. Nation and Crime - Exhibition

Location: Deutsches Historisches Museum, "Ausstellungshalle von I. M. Pei".

Opening hours: 7 days a week 10:00 through 18:00, on Friday through 21:00.
2010-10-15 .. 2011-02-06.

I found the exhibition far too overcrowded. The captions made very bad use of 3 different fonts, occasionally making the text rather unreadable. I never saw any exhibition as badly made as this one.

Date format(s) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Date format(s) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I really love ISO 8601 as date format.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

with Tina Turner as Aunty Entity

my KDE GNOME zigzag

Pls read this article for more information!

Oracle issues first OpenOffice.org 3.3.0 release candidate - The H Open Source: News and Features

Oracle issues first OpenOffice.org 3.3.0 release candidate - The H Open Source: News and Features

The Road (2009) - IMDb

The Road (2009) - IMDb

From the storyline on IMDB:
… They have nothing: just a pistol to defend themselves …
OMG! Did I really suggest this movie for my Saturday night? I know … – it was one of the movies I listed, because I disliked the others or I already saw them.

Ondine (2009) - IMDb

Ondine (2009) - IMDb

Google releases Chrome 7.0 stable - The H Security: News and Features

Google releases Chrome 7.0 stable - The H Security: News and Features

weather.com - Northern-Europe Satellite Map

weather.com - Map Room - Satellite Map, Weather Map, Doppler Radar Europe: Northern Satellite

Set default values with the defined-or operator. | The Effective Perler

Set default values with the defined-or operator. | The Effective Perler

Amazon EC2 Running SUSE Linux

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) Running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

AWS: Host Your Web Site in the Cloud – Amazon Web Services Made Easy – by Jeff Barr

Host Your Web Site in the Cloud by Jeff Barr

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

upgrading my ASUS notebook to openSUSE 11.3

This was a day (or at last a couple of hours) for finally updating my Linux notebook again.
I had screwed the packaging system or yast like 2 months ago, and I haven't been able since to do any updates through yast.
This afternoon I did not really have the nerve for anything else then this – well, I could have gone to the gym, but I wanted to be a little productive at least.

I booted from a CD-ROM, installed ("upgraded") over the network, and after like 2.5 hours it looked as if I could log into the new system straight away. But I couldn't. After the log in there wasn't really any progress, it kept showing me the wallpaper. I started a yast remotely over "ssh -X", created a new user, logged into that user, but creating virtual desktops wasn't really successful. My diagnosis was, that the openSUSE guys finally had screwed, what they long intended to screw: gnome on openSUSE. I gave KDE a chance. I installed KDM and the KDE Desktop packages, restarted xdm, logged into my account, created my 4*5 virtual desktops, and started starting up my work environment as usual. KDE feels a little strange, but then: I actually live within emacs and a couple of xterm-s. Why did I actually switch from KDE to gnome like 12 years ago during my London period? Because KDE only allowed me 4*2 virtual desktops or so. That restriction got lifted apparently, so no big deal, I now go with KDE – not as a disciple, just as a user.
This is what I call my KDE GNOME zigzag.

And now back to work, resp. answering a couple of e-mails.

<off_topic>
The reason, why I was quite nervous during this afternoon, "dissolved". I received rather good news. Maybe I just interprete them a little too positive. Maybe I am going to recover economically a little (or even more then that) in a short while. Now I have good reason for some optimism at least. I am a lot calmer now. Maybe I should not have written private e-mails during the last couple of days. They weren't really the most sensitive ones for quite some time. But they were honest. And I had good reasons to write them the way I did. Yes, this paragraph does not belong under this title.
</off_topic>

Update 2010-10-21 #1
The upgrade screwed my mailing system as well.
The messages sounded, as if the SMTP server "out there" did not want to relay my messages any longer. The support staff there told me, my software would not attempt the required authentication (any longer). Remember: all this had worked before the upgrade!
The mailing system set up makes me believe, they push you into setting up an LDAP server, and that they want the local SMTP server to talk to that LDAP server. Alright, easy dialogs, set up seems to complete successfully.
But then: still to not success WRT the mailing system.
A couple of years ago I had switched from using sendmail to postfix, as the set up had no longer worked easily with sendmail, but with postfix it did then. So now I give sendmail another try. And? Success!!!
sendmail rants something like this:
Authentication-Warning: MY_BOX.fritz.box: MY_USER set sender to USER@SURNAME.name using -f
That was really easy to solve. I had seen that message a couple of times before in my life. I always got it solved. Searched the web for this message, leaving out the private bits, keeping "using -f" together by quoting it in the enquiry. Found the resp. documentation on the sendmail.org website. Added MY_USER to /etc/mail/trusted-users, just as that manual page said. Great! My mailing system works again.
This is what I call my sendmail postfix zigzag.


Update 2010-10-21 #2
Yippee!!!! My Samba set up seems to still work – my Linux computers function as file servers on my LAN, i.e. also to my Mac OS X machine. If that wouldn't work any longer, that would be bad. But it does work.

do not work on your Google Mail address book in parallel!

I worked on my address book in two different tabs of my browser. That was actually Google Chrome 8, but I think, that doesn't matter. If you modify and save an address book entry in tab "B", you will not see these changes in tab "A". They are not coordinated, and that's not optimal. I am quite sure, the changes in tab "B" are still updated on your persistent database at Google's sites, and you can expect to see the changes, when you load your address book anew.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Petrocelli is an American legal drama which ran for two seasons on NBC from September 11, 1974 to March 31, 1976

Petrocelli - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Petrocelli on IMDb

In Germany it was shown starting February 1976 on ZDF. I loved watching Petrocelli then, and I wanted to study law then, but then I felt my writing capabilities were not sufficient for this kind of profession.

"double taxation treaty", that's not the only term for it

In English they call it
  • double tax ...
  • double taxation ...
  • double ... agreement
  • double ... convention
  • double ... treaty
So there are abbrevations like DTA and DTC.

In German the word is Doppelbesteuerungsabkommen, and it is abbreviated as DBA.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

yet another UMTS/HSDPA modem for my FRITZ!Boxes: ZTE INCORPORATED K3565-Z

Vodafone had a campaign with my gym (FitnessFirst), they gave away free UMTS / HSDPA modems, and you won't believe that: they are SIM lock and net-lock free.

The modem presents itself to my 7270 as
  • ZTE INCORPORATED K3565-Z.
It works fine with my 2 SIM cards (with dedicated tariffs) for use with UMTS modems:
  • one from T-Mobile
  • one from simyo
This is my very 1st HSDPA modem, and it works with my FRITZ!Boxes – that's great!

Now I got one modem per SIM card, and I don't need to swap SIM cards on my 4G UMTS modem any longer.

Thank you, Vodafone!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

my blogs, Facebook, Twitter, "NetworkedBlogs"

Most things I write and that I want to share, I usually write and publish on one of my blogs.
But I like to see them on my Facebook wall, in my Twitter stream, and also in my Buzz stream as well.

NetworkedBlogs.com offer a Facebook application, that picks up the (new) articles on my blogs and creates resp. entries on my Facebook wall and also on my Twitter stream.

Now the tweets, they generate also appear on my Facebook wall. That is a little annyoing. And I don't know, how to stop this. Is it NetworkedBlogs.com, that pulls my Twitter stream onto my Facebook wall, is it Facebook itself. For sure, it's me, who configured that somewhere at some stage in the past. But as I said: I don't know, how to stop this.

It's pretty similar on my Buzz stream, but that's not directly because of NetworkedBlogs.com. I want to have my blogs articles included there and also my tweets. But then most tweets got created from blog articles. It's rather rare, that I write a tweet manually. I got my Buzz stream to include my blogs and also my Twitter stream. That is easy to handle.

Sometimes I remove duplicate Facebook wall and Buzz entries, but not very often.

I am a software developer, that's true, but so far I have been a little lazy, and I did not create an application myself, that would smartly derive Facebook wall and Buzz entries and also tweets, avoiding redundancy. I am sure my readers get pretty annoyed by that redundancy. It's simply, that I have no time to fight this redundancy. This is rather sad.

Bible (World English) - Wikisource

Bible (World English) - Wikisource

Another good online ressource for quoting.

Old English Hexateuch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Old English Hexateuch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

First I got a little confused, as so far I have only been familiar with the term Pentateuch (Greek for five books), somehow synonymous to  Torah.

PDF::Extract - search.cpan.org

PDF::Extract - search.cpan.org


A Perl module, that you can find on CPAN.

I have not used it yet; this article here is only my bookmark for it.

PDF::Burst - search.cpan.org

PDF::Burst - search.cpan.org

A Perl module, that you can find on CPAN.

I have not used it yet; this article here is only my bookmark for it.

PDFsam – PDF Split and Merge

PDF Split and Merge

Software implemented in Java, it comes as a GUI, that calls misc. utilities. The author latest goal is to implement a web hosted version of this software.

I have been using this software for a couple of years.

Monday, October 11, 2010

MP3 tags and file names


  • IMHO file names should never ever contain anything else but only "printable ASCII" characters.
  • letting music file names reflect the contents is sometimes just too much work, so sometimes I abbreviate them to just the track number
I just came across some Glenn Gould albums, and now the file names all look like 99.mp3. I first tried something better than that, but that was just PITA and I stopped it. I did improve and clean the track names themselves though. Maybe they are too long for the iPod now, but they display well in iTunes.

RCS vs. Apache Ant – **/*.java vs. RCS/*.java

Looks like the exclude tag also works well within the javac tag.

I like having at look at Roseanne Zhang's "questions and answers on Apache Ant" now and then.

Links:

Microsoft filed an action against Motorola - The H Open Source: News and Features

Is Microsoft running out of steam? - The H Open Source: News and Features

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Social Network (2010) - IMDb

The Social Network (2010) - IMDb That's the movie on Mark Zuckerberg, the "inventor" and creator of Facebook.

From Trivia:
  • The opening breakup scene with Jesse Eisenberg and Rooney Mara ran eight script pages and took 99 takes. (link)
  • "Who was the movie star?" – "Does it matter?" – the movie star was, in fact, Natalie Portman (Born: Natalie Hershlag), who was enrolled at Harvard from 1999 to 2003 and helped screenwriter Aaron Sorkin by providing him insider information about goings-on at Harvard at the time Facebook first appeared there.
  • The Winklevoss twins were both played by actor Armie Hammer. However, Ralph Lauren model Josh Pence played one of them strictly from the neck down. His face was digitally replaced with Hammer's to make them appear identical, as the two men are unrelated and look nothing alike. The two spent 10 months in twin boot camp to match one another's subtle movements and rapport.
From Quotes:
  • "As if every thought that tumbles through your head was so clever it would be a crime for it not to be shared."
  • "You're not an asshole, Mark. You're just trying so hard to be one."
Update after watching the movie:

I think the Winklevoss twins should not have gotten any money. My impression is, that they just discussed a business idea with Zuckerberg, and discussing such an idea a without non-disclosure agreement isn't really worth anything. They should not have gotten money or shares from Zuckerberg or Facebook, that was wrong.

I think, it's very sad, how the friendship between Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin evolved, but then that's how it goes with "business partnerships". You have to make sure to stay in very, very close contact with your partners, otherwise you run the risk to get catapulted out of the game. Of course it's esp. very sad to see, that "Zuckerberg dropped Saverin's 30% ownership share of Facebook down to 0.03%" (from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eduardo_Saverin#Personal_life_and_Facebook).

Justin Timberlake … plays Napster creator Shawn Fanning as a slightly delusional, paranoid entrepreneur (from technofunkie's review (on IMDb) on this movie).

I am very, very grateful to my supporter friend, who allowed me to watch this movie.

TableSeer.SourceForge.net

TableSeer | Download TableSeer software for free at SourceForge.net

TableSeer is a tool that automatically identifies tables in digital documents and extracts the contents in the cells of the tables as well as table metadata.
That software seems to apply more heuristics than pdf2table.

my wifi access point TP-LINK TP-WA901ND

I am employing another wifi access point (that's the device, whose name I am using here in the tittle) and a different WPA encrypted wifi network (SSID) for my neighbours, and today I thought, I should have a look at it again.

I got intrigued to do a firmware upgrade on the device, not really the latest one, but one of this year, and after rebooting
  1. I noticed, the "System" LED kept blinking slowly,
  2. and I also couldn't access it any more.
I feared, these 2 symptoms would be related, and that made me a little nervous.

I enforced a reset by pressing the reset button for 5 seconds, and applied the settings again, that I had applied severals months ago. Everything is fine now.

The "System" LED is still blinking slowly, but the manual doesn't handle this case and I also can't notice any real problem, that this might indicate, so I simply ignore that.

Just to make sure, that my lovely neighbours do not successfully invite anybody to my wifi network by themselves, today I enabled MAC address whitelisting on that wifi network, and I added the MAC addresses of all of their computers, that I am aware of. MAC address whitelisting is not the last security feature I apply to protect myself and my own computers. I also route their IP packages through a different VLAN on a managed switch, a Netgear FS526T, but that actually belongs into a different blog article.

Actually this device is not only a wifi access point. You can also operate it in several other modes, but right now I am not in the mood to describe that.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

on PDF

Nowadays on the Web or through e-mail you are getting more and more PDF files as electronic documents instead of documents on paper.

Roughly spoken PDF documents are expected to display the same way on every computer platform (as opposed to documents created by usual word processing software). This is regarded a major advantage of PDF.

PDF vs. fonts vs. platform (in)dependence vs. resizability/scalability

Whenever a PDF document makes use of  outline fonts and stroke fonts as opposed to bitmap fonts (see the Wikipedia article on computer fonts!), you are able to resize resp. rescale your document to different sizes without suffering from the loss of quality of the fonts used. This is in general considered another major advantage.
But computer fonts are not in the public domain, so on every computer platform, different available fonts are used for PDF documents.

So what can we do against platform dependency stemming from fonts?
  • Include the fonts: that's the approach used by PDF/A.
    PDF/A is especially employed, where documents need to be available even after many years in the context of document archives.
    The major downside of this approach: PDF/A documents are much, much bigger than usual PDF documents, storing the fonts within them takes a lot space.
  • Another approach is to render text and fonts into ready-made bitmaps.
    Of course documents of this kind display best with a 1:1 relationship of the pixels in your documents to the pixels on your screen resp. on your printer output.
    Any resizing / rescaling results in pour quality.
    And I think you understand this very well: there is not text (as text) at all left in your PDF document, and you will not be able to extract any text from such a document.

Now you know: different kinds of PDF documents come with different advantages and also disadvantages.

I am interested here in PDF documents, that are not rendered into "one bitmap per page", but which rather contain the source document's text. Extracting that text simply as text is more or less an easy piece of cake, and there already exists software for this purpose.

PDF basics

Before I dive with you into what information we want to extract from PDF files, I want to explain PDF a little.

I am honestly not too deep into PDF, but I understand it as an advanced and optimized version of PostScript. My little knowledge of PostScript is (please find a slightly lengthier version here in the Wikipedia article!):
  • It's a stack-based programming language like Forth using reverse Polish notation.
  • It has data structures like arrays and dictionaries, but nothing more abstract than that.
  • Subprograms are called resp. regarded as operators of the stack machine.
  • Some relevant information details may be coded into operator names.
  • Some other relevant information details (like page numbers) are coded into comment lines, see the article on PostScript Document Structuring Conventions. I have no clue, what corresponds to that in PDF. Maybe there are language elements for that.
Now you have an idea of how PDF looks like, and you may have a vague idea, of what is possible with PDF and what isn't.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Google URL shortener Goo.gl Goes Public

Goo.gl Goes Public

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Borderline personality disorder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eat Pray Love (2010) - IMDb

Eat Pray Love (2010) - IMDb:

A married woman realizes how unhappy her marriage really is, and that her life needs to go in a different direction. After a painful divorce, she takes off on a round-the-world journey to "find herself".
The married woman is being portrayed by Julia Roberts, so even if there was far too much of that self-finding-thing in that movie for me, I always enjoy looking at her - apart from when she looks sad, because I find her ugly than - but I really like her smile.

Javier Bardem played her Brazilian lover (although he actually is a Spaniard), he even spoke some Portuguese there, and he did a good and serious job.

The nicest music in the movie (IMHO) is actually also Brazilian, and I loved it (you can of course also find it on YouTube, but no nice one with Bebel Gilberto performing):


There were a few scenes, that really got me crying, e.g. the farewell scene between the Brazilian father and his son.

This was my Saturday night movie at the CineStar Original movie theatre at the Sony Center in Berlin. I really enjoyed it - but for the pictures and the music.
The story and the the main character are truely sick, and this is how one of the reviewers on IMDb ended his text:
Do not see this movie and encourage others to avoid it like the plague!
He titled "American Films Continue to Glorify Female Borderline Personality Disorder", and I think, I agree to him.

Them (2006) - IMDb

Them (2006) - IMDb

Horror | Mystery | Thriller

Watched this French-Rumanian scary movie on Saturday / Sunday night. It really took hold of me.

Aura Dione - I Will Love You Monday

Aura Dione - Song for Sophie [Official Video HD]

Saturday, October 2, 2010

e-mail addresses and "plussing"

e-mail addresses and "plussing"

e-mail messages addressing John.Doe+MailingListName@gmail.com are meant to actually go to johndoe@gmail.com, in other words:

  • “.” characters actually get removed for computing the real mail box
  • everything starting the “+” character and going to the “@” character (not including the latter) gets removed entirely
On the recipient side, software can check on plussing and may come to decisions based on the string between the “+” and the “@”.

Yes, gmail does support plussing.

On my domains I have a catch-all rule for e-mail forwarding aliases, and on those computeres, where I receive e-mail using fetchmail, procmail rules help me with the checks.

When I will get around to it, I will write here under "e-mail", how I make use of IMAP, procmail, and fetchmail.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

a web cam observing the road at the bus stop nearby

The bus stop here at my host's place on Martinique is only like 50 meters away. The final bus stop in the other direction is only a couple of minutes away. So it would be worth observing the busses going to the final stop, assuming they will actually return after like 10 minutes or so. The advantage: as long as they don't pass by, they also won't return in my direction, so it's not worth running to the bus stop. The busses are late quite often a litte late, and also sometimes they don't show up at all.

Manzana verde - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Manzana verde - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

My host on Martinique offered me a glass of manzana with ice cubes from his bar, I liked it.

This is from the entry on en.wikipedia.org:

Manzana, also known as manzanita and manzana verde, is a liqueur generally made of wild apples. The name refers to the apples and not the alcoholic beverage which is usually clear in color. It has Spanish origins, more precisely of the Basque country. Its name manzana is apple in Spanish; verde is Spanish for "green".
Manzana contains from 15 to 20% of alcohol. It is sweet and tastes like green apples, similar in taste to pucker.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Pragmatic Bookshelf | Continuous Testing with Ruby

The Pragmatic Bookshelf | Continuous Testing with Ruby

Going Back (Phil Collins album) - I am now a proud owner of this album

Going Back (Phil Collins album) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Couldn't wait any longer – and it's pure MP3, purchased and downloaded from mp3.saturn.de.

Online Parallel Bible: good for quoting, comparing, and researching verses

Online Parallel Bible: Weaving God's Word into the Web

how to call a SIP phone by its IP-address

You may of course replace IP-address here by DNS name.

The Scenario:

The callee has a number of accounts configured on his SIP phone (resp. SIP capable router or whatever (a FRITZ!Box 7390 in my case)).
One of the accounts is 456123 at whatever SIP provider. (This works for all the accounts set up on your SIP phone.)
It is strange, but for this purpose here, it does not matter, which SIP provider this account is tied with.

The DNS name of your SIP phone is xyz.dyndns.org.

You can now call the SIP phone at sip:456123@xyz.dyndns.org.

Of course you yourself have to use a SIP capable phone or software in order to place a call to such an address.

For the FRITZ!Boxes you remove the leading "sip:", so you only enter 456123@xyz.dyndns.org as a phone number on your 1st phone book of your FRITZ!Box, and of course the entry needs a name. The phone book entry will also get a shortcut assigned (that you can alter, if you want to), and you have to leave a (non-ambiguous) shortcut there, even if you don't make direct use of it.
You can than call that remote SIP phone by this shortcut.
On a FRITZ!Fon MT-F you can also call that remote SIP phone "directly" from the FRITZ!Box that 1st phone book visible on the FRITZ!Fon MT-F.

I learned tonight, was, that you can (only) call the callee using the "account names" of the SIP accounts, he has with any resp. all SIP providers (apparently) outside.

I actually hope, there is a way to set up an SIP account on the callee's SIP phone, that is not tied to a SIP provider at all. I don't see the serious reason for that.
There should be a way, the callee answers on accounts, that he does not necessarily hold with SIP providers "outside". But I don't know yet, how to set up such an account on my SIP capable router.
I do actually know, how to set up such an account for the "Local Area Network" of my router, but I don't know yet, how to do this for the "Wide Are Network" side of my router.

To Be Continued …

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

it's raining, there is a power outage, but the UPS is still running

This satellite map makes me think, it will keep raining here for quite a little longer.
There is also a power outage, but my host has a UPS installed, but that will not go for hours, I guess it's covering like 30 minutes or. We shall see. I cannot imagine, I will be offline for many hours.

flight search: skyscanner.net

Cheap flights | Free flight comparison from Skyscanner.net

flight search: swoodoo

swoodoo

Leaving TextMate – Coming Home to Vim / Jamis Buck

the { buckblogs :here }: Coming home to Vim

"if you find that irritating, just keep scrolling by"

My version of that is: "you should know, where the delete button is on your keyboard."

Leaving TextMate – Coming Home to Vim / Steve Losh

Coming Home to Vim / Steve Losh


  • TextMate does not have split windows

"to go cold turkey with ..." - Idioms - by the Free Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

go cold turkey - Idioms - by the Free Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
to suddenly and completely stop doing something, esp. a bad habit

The Linux migration project in the Swiss Canton of Solothurn - The H Open Source: News and Features

A crash landing for Linux? - The H Open Source: News and Features

movie: Better Off Dead... (1985) - IMDb

Better Off Dead... (1985) - IMDb

Monday, September 20, 2010

Daniele Ganser: Fear as a Weapon - the Effects of Psychological Warfare on Domestic and International Politics

IPRD » Fear as A Weapon The Effects of Psychological Warfare on Domestic and International Politics

I looked the author up, browsed the resp. articles on de.wikipedia.org and fr.wikipedia.org. There is no en.wikipedia.org article on him yet.

"Fear as a weapon", that reminded me almost immediately of "FUD" = "fear, uncertainty and doubt":
a tactic of rhetoric and fallacy used in sales, marketing, public relations, politics and propaganda …

Sort of "funny":
… Then, on Tuesday, November 6, a NATO spokesman probably Robert Stratford explained that NATO’s denial of the previous day had been false. The spokesman left journalists with a short communiqué which stated that NATO never commented on matters of military secrecy …
Field Manual FM 30–31B details how and when the state can carry out terrorist operations. It specifies the methodology for launching terrorist attacks in nations that “do not react with sufficient effectiveness” against “communist subversion.” Ironically, the manual states that the most dangerous moment comes when leftist groups “renounce the use of force” and embrace the democratic process. …
Daniele Ganser's conclusion:
Those very few scientists who have researched the fields of psychological warfare and published on the subject realise that the weapon of fear is still being used today by a number of international actors in the context of the so- called ‘war on terrorism’. Without fear the so-called ‘war on terrorism’ could not succeed. Yet fear cripples the personal development of every human being and promotes violence in human interactions. Therefore all efforts should be made to assess the reality and power of fear as a secret weapon. Thereafter a conscious decision to monitor one’s own emotions, and particularly one’s fears and those who manipulate them, can allow every human being to break free from the destructive circle of fear and violence. For fear is a dangerous weapon only as long as the target remains ignorant of its real causes and the secret strategy is undetected. In full light it loses its strength and tends to dissolve. Regaining control of one’s own thoughts and emotions, and making a conscious decision to steer clear of fear and hatred, seem therefore, adequate answers to some of the major challenges of the twenty-first century.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

from Fort-de-France back home to my client / host

Got on a bus.

Left the bus at the giant Carrefour / Dillon market.

Some shopping incl. getting the Toy Story sneakers for son#2, some beer and tea bag and lovely red jam and nut cream and instant coffee and last not least some guave fruits.

My client / host and me had agreed in the meantime to meet at the Gwa Gwa pub to eat out.

Got on a bus, asked the bus-driver to tell me, where the stop for the hospital resp. Gwa Gwa would be, and he told me to take the bus in the other direction (stuttering and not easy to understand).

Got to the bus stop in the opposite direction, called my client / host again, and he confirmed that I actually was in the bus in the right direction – so, girls, do you know, why men don't ask strangers for the direction? because they hate to get fooled. Even if he didn't fool me on purpose, I just shouldn't have asked.

So waiting for the next bus in the right direction, which could take up to an hour.

Had the foolish idea to show my thumb, like hitchhikers do it in Germany, but why shouldn't I? I had to wait anyway, so I can just as well do something useful at the cost of very little energy. Apparently hitchhikers do it differently over here, they more like wave their right hand to say "Helloooooo!".

A lady and her maybe 12y daughter stopped, not taking me for too serious, but not being too anxious as well. That was rather nice. After leaving their car I checked for my iPod, confused where I had put it at last, ran to their car, asked them to let me have a look at where I sat, didn't find it there, finally found it in my rucksack. Of course.

I got to the Gwa Gwa quite some time before my client / host, and enjoyed sitting there and watching people, apparently middle class.

Had some nice time there with my mate.

Had a gentle walk back later that evening, actually always slightly anxiously watching the traffic, not only because we were hard to spot during this nightly walk on that rural road.

my trip to Anse-Mitan wasn't really, what I expected it to be

during the 1st couple of minutes, I happened to read on the ferry, that there is an out-of-order ferry schedule being applied on Saturdays currently, so effectively this was the last ferry going from Fort-de-France to Anse Mitan,
and I was rather lucky, too, to read this at all, as this ferry was also the latest one to take me back to Fort-de-France.
so effectively this was “just” a pretty pleasant round-trip with a slightly long waiting period before the start and no time at all on the beach.
Note à l'attention de notre clientèle: Nous informons notre aimable clientèle que jusqu'à ce que des solutions contre les actes d'insécurité soient trouvées les services du week-end s'arrêtereront le Samedi comme suit: ...

So first stop on my round-trip: Anse-à-l'Âne.

2nd stop: Anse-Mitan.

3rd stop: Pointe du Bout – and all of a sudden, I got the idea, the note did not explicitely say, the ferry would return to Fort-de-France, it just looked logical, but then on what basis could I use the term logical under these conditions?

Actually I was pretty silly to notice the note only after the ferry left the harbour of Fort-de-France, as I was sitting close to it for like 15 minutes, when the ferry sat in the harbour waiting ... to keep the schedule.

a ferry approaches, I hope it's mine

the ferry to Anse-Mitan didn't come

And it only comes and goes once per hour, but I have Marisa Monte in my ear, so it's not really that bad, and I also started dancing on my own by her music. Out here you think, it's not worth being ashame for this kind of exaltation.

yet another blog? yes, in French

I will mainly collect bookmarks in French, but I will also write a few things now and then.

heading for the beach at Anse-Mitan across the bay

I finally got the bus schedule as PDF on the phone, that will be useful.

Friday, September 17, 2010

EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE: Minor Invoice Errors – Deduction of VAT

Judgment in case Pannon Gep Centrum Kft (C-368/09) – Minor Invoice Errors – Deduction of VAT

In other words: the taxman may and must not regard your invoices as nil or invalid, just because there are minor errors.

A German interpretation of the decision:


Rechnungsnummer muss nicht fortlaufend sein

Der Europäische Gerichtshof hat entschieden:
Das Finanzamt darf den Abzug der Vorsteuer nicht verweigern, nur weil der Unternehmer seine Rechnungen nicht fortlaufend, sondern nach einem anderen System nummeriert (Aktenzeichen C-368/09).
So können Firmenchefs verschiedene Nummernkreise zum Beispiel für unterschiedliche Stammkunden verwenden. Die einzelnen Nummernfolgen müssen aber nicht lückenlos sein. Folglich darf das Finanzamt den Vorsteuerabzug auch nicht aus diesem Grund verweigern.

digital cameras, the Orientation tag, pictures not standing upright

Modern cameras (some mobile phone cameras included) sense, what is up and what is down, if you take a picture. And if the software on your computer likes interpreting the "EXIF Orientation" flag of the picture, you will never notice, something unusual is going on. Some software doesn't though, so sometimes you are tempted to turn your picture long enough, until it does stand upright. But that kind of software also doesn't properly keep the Orientation flag in sync, so next time you browse you pictures with modern software, the pictures look no longer standing upright with that software.

Now today I thought of a simple trick, but I wasn't sure beforehand, whether it would work – and it did work.

Let me explain the idea! Let's suppose you watch your picture in modern software! If you turn your picture once to the left, and once to the right, that looks like it should not have any effect, but afterwards the Orientation tag is set to "Horizontal (normal)", and internally the picture is also represented "upright".

Why is that?
Well, when the software 1st picks up the picture with a value different to "Horizontal (normal)", it turns the picture, so that it looks upright to you. But I assume, you wouldn't like it, if that operation would cause the picture file to change on your disk, right?!?
But if you turn the picture to the left, that is an operation, that you would allow to have an effect to the picture file, right?!? And if you turn the picture to the right, that annuls the visual effect in your eyes.
If your software is rather smart, it only keeps track of the orientation changed and updates the EXIF Orientation tag. That wouldn't help us.
If your software isn't overly smart but just smart enough for us, it will leave the picture and the picture file in a state, so that the picture's internal representation is upright and the EXIF Orientation tag is set to "Horizontal (normal)", and everything is fine. Now pretty much every software will show the picture properly regardless of the EXIF Orientation tag.
Neat trick, isn't it? Works for me on Mac OS X with the Previewer.
That software requires me to confirm, that I want the changed files saved to disk. Other software may have done that already without asking you.

Stuxnet worm can control industrial systems - The H Security: News and Features

Stuxnet worm can control industrial systems - The H Security: News and Features

Tip: Just the text, please! – stripping out all the presentation from the original source and just pasting in a block of text

Google Chrome Blog: Tip: Just the text, please!

That is a really, really nice feature!!!

You can use this shortcut in any (online Google) rich text editor (like Gmail's compose window, or when writing in Google Docs) to strip out all the presentation from the original source and just paste in a block of text.

on my way back, planning for a quick stop at Carrefour ...

... for an avocado, maybe a ripe guava, and also maybe a nice, cold beer. Alright and also for enjoying the local middle and upper class spending their money there.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

on my way to the beach

The bus got suddenly filled with pupils leaving school. There was a sudden heavy shower. One of the bigger boys wanted to know sth. regarding the pho ne, I was a little nervous answering, but this seemed to help: je ne comprends pas tous les mots. Also the loud music was low again all off a sudden, and serious: my eyes didn't say "I know Krav Maga".

Berlin - Zurich - Paris Charles de Gaulle - Paris Orly - Fort-de-France, Martinique

I actual wrote all this on 2010-09-02, but as I couldn't blog it in sync with the real time line, as I was offline most of the time, I did not find the right time to do it. I just found this text in an open window of my OS X GNU Emacs, and as Apple forces me to reboot pretty soon, I rather post it now than very much later. A few things need to get added, a few linefeeds to get removed.

I never started a journey and even a long distance journey like this. There are 2 resp. 3 carriers involved in this journey, I could not successfully check in through the web or the smartphone to part of it,
I didn't really know in all detail, how and whether I would get all my luggage to my destination (and I didn't), the connection bus from CdG to Orly was as risky, as we call did foresee, and honest: I only got on board of the Air Caraïbes flight to my final destination with quite a lof of chutzpah and because the other travelers in Orly weren't as nasty as I would seriously expect them "my" country. And traveling as two (esp. between CdG and Orly) would have brought the two to the first serious crisis during this journey, that's ultimately sure.

During the very last phase prior to my departure my SO got pretty annoyed with me,
because my luggage had not got completed like 7 days in advance, which is what she does for her own long-distance flights between Germany and Brazil.
Because nowadays that her daughters usually don't travel on the same day as herself
and esp. sometimes later than herself,
she gets at least one of them to go to the airport with her and take that part of the luggage back home,
that gets rejected in the very beginning.
That was a very useful hint,
and I asked her to play that role for me,
and she agreed.
That implied she stayed the night in my place.

I wasn't anywhere near I wanted to be "officewise",
and I knew I would work until late,
and I actually and literally worked through the night.
I brought her to bed ("extended version"),
she reminded me of a certain "medical aid" (ROTFL!!), I shouldn't forget to take with me, as the local sizes might not fit,
and I was rather enchanted by her attitude.
I had never expected that at all from her.

So through the night I sorted the paper batches in two main categories and "the remainder":
* to be scanned and lefted at home
* not to be scanned and taken with me
* not to be scanned and left at home
And I truely got everything scanned, that I regarded necessary.
This was work I actually had not achieved within months before this journey,
so this just another and very important "sided-effect" of this journey.
Now all these scanned bills etc. sit on my hard disk (of course I backed them up, before I left, actually there are now 4 copies all together, not a big deal with my nice and beloved "Rakefile"),
waiting to get renamed and renumbered,
some of them also to get processed like "transformed" into a bank account transfer.
What an achievement!!
I do need more of these events, I think,
and actually SO's daughther#2 applied as company,
but that might turn out a little difficult,
because this is going to be a male nerd monastery.

Well, scanning and shutting down the computers took like 15 minutes too long,
which made it necessary to replace the airport bus by a costly airport taxi,
which was actually rather nice, as I have known the driver from my commuting years some time ago.

Airport staff at Berlin Tegel did enforce any big change in my "luggage system",
just that I had to split my rucksack content in two,
but that split had already gotten prepared and wasn't a difficult thing.
So my SO's company during the trip to the airport was simply pleasure (aport from here slightly negative excitedness),
but obviously such support is very good for your nerves.
You should get yourself such an SO as mine!!

So the trip with its stop in Zurich over to Paris Charles de Gaulles (CdG) wasn't that exciting,
apart from the question, how many minutes we would be late,
as every single minutes late would matter during the trip from CdG to Orly.

I expected far more difficulties regarding for the "section" between "leaving the plane from Zurich" and "getting on board of the bus to Orly".
Getting the luggage was easy,
I knew which exit to take (#34) to best reach the bus,
just waiting for the luggage seemed endless,
and that took 20 minutes counting from the planned arrival.
That meant just 70 minutes left until dropping the luggage ...

I left the bus too early, ie. at Orly-East instead of Orly-South,
I took the train, didn't get a ticket for that, because I didn't want to waste time, I was pretty nervous, though not completely desperate.
I searched for the check-in counter,
I got told it might be too late for accepting the luggage,
I should just regard it as hand luggage, and the guy gave me a lable.
All my hand luggage got now checked as cabin luggage,
all my fluid things as sun milk, shower gel, …, all that got taken away,
I made a scene, avoided that my manicure set got taken away, too.
I ran to the departure gate,
disobeying certain rules, but finding mercy though,
I got to the departure gate on the minute of the planned departure.

Chupacabra, the Latin-American "goat (blood) sucker" - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chupacabra - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I am just hoping, it's not going to show up here on Martinique, as I am preparing myself to sleep outside one of the coming nights, and the Chupacabra might disturb my sweet dreams then.

Lime (fruit) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lime (fruit) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I really love the home-grown lime from Brazil and here on Martinique.
(BTW: the hummingbird just visits our garden's bushes and tree.)

Other sources say, there is no vitamin C in lime – I am a little confused now.

billboard.biz: Google's Music Service

Exclusive: Sources Detail Google's Proposal For A Music Service

the local cane sugar together with lime from the garden tastes fine in …

… in the local rum or in a cup of Darjeeling tea.

office work in the morning, Caribbean beach in the afternoon

Sitting on the sofa in the fresh air, enjoying the Caribbean morning, waiting for the hummingbirds to return, I can smell, that the neighbour started cooking again. She seems to like garlic a lot, I also noticed that yesterday.

"Facebook killer" Diaspora source code released - The H Open Source: News and Features

"Facebook killer" Diaspora source code released - The H Open Source: News and Features

How Badass Brazilian Babies/Toddlers Pwn Adults When It Comes to Dancing

O'Reilly Media - Ebook Deal of the Day: Choose Your Own Cookbook - Only $9.99 each

O'Reilly Media - Ebook Deal of the Day: Choose Your Own Cookbook - Only $9.99 each

shopping in the darkness of the early Caribbean evening

I really like the local Carrefour / Dillon. Their own articles are apparently targeted towards the Francophone + Dutch market, so the articles are labeled in the resp. languages. I only saw this  a lot, when I lived and worked in Antwerp, but I did not expect to see this again out here in the Caribbean.

After a little searching I finally even found something similar to Philadelphia / green. I am not quite sure, whether this is adequate food for the Caribbean, but apparently there is not just me here, who seems to like it. I also got me some Camembert, that together with some nice baguette will help me survive.

For breakfast I got now müsli, corn flakes, and milk. And bananas, bananas, bananas, …

Oooo, the milk is from France, not a local product. What a pity!

BTW: If you ever want to see a garbage bin, just as clean as you breakfast table: come and see it here!

I am not sure, whether I did that already, but I don't want to forget to mention this:
I love the Caribbean.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

youtube: Bob Dylan The Byrds - Turn Turn Turn (1990)



Whenever I quote "Preacher 3" to people not familiar with the Torah, the Tanakh / Bible in general, I refer them to this song:
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.